Third person infected with Omicron coronavirus variant identified in UK

A third person infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant has been identified in the UK, health officials have said. The individual, who is no longer in the country, tested positive after travellin

Third person infected with Omicron coronavirus variant identified in UK

A third person infected with the Omicron coronavirus variant has been identified in the UK, health officials have said.

The individual, who is no longer in the country, tested positive after travelling to Britain and "is linked to travel to southern Africa".

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is now carrying out targeted testing where the individual visited when they were likely to be infectious. They are said to have been in Westminster in central London.

Dr Jenny Harries, UKHSA chief executive, said: "Our advanced sequencing capabilities enable us to find variants and take rapid action to limit onward spread. It is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focussed contact tracing.

"We are continuing our efforts to understand the effect of this variant on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.

"It's critical that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms isolates and gets a PCR test immediately.

"Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against this new variant - please get your first, second or booster jab without delay. Wear a mask in crowded places, including public transport and shops, to ensure we all help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant."