Omicron variant: TWO cases of the Covid super-strain reported in UK as fears for Xmas lockdown grow

A NEW Covid super-strain was officially named a "variant of concern" by the WHO last night – amid fears it has already spread to the UK.

It has been reported that two cases of the Omicron Covid variant have been found in Britain, Sajid Javid confirmed.

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference on the matter at 5pm this afternoon.

It comes as fears of a second Christmas lockdown grow, with Prof Adam Finn, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, warning Brits to be "ready for the possibility of a change in the restrictions”.

Read our Omicron live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    Variant spreading rapidly across South Africa

    The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, spreading rapidly across South Africa, has twice as many mutations as the delta strain and experts are suggesting that it could force countries back into lockdowns.

    It is now known to be in five countries after Belgium detected its first case from an unvaccinated person returning from abroad.

    Experts have made clear that this is the worst variant of the virus that has been seen so far, although its importance is not yet known.

    The Omicron has a combination of mutations from several dangerous variants that have evolved in the past year.

  • Milica Cosic

    Omicron Covid variant fear leads to state of emergency in New York

    A STATE of emergency has been declared in New York amid increasing concerns regarding the Omicron Covid variant.

    It comes as President Joe Biden banned travel from eight African countries in a bid to keep the super-strain out of the US.

    Ahead of the chaotic Christmas period, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order on Friday that she hopes will ease pressure on health surgeries ahead of a potential spike in Covid cases.

    It is feared infections will be spurred on by the Omicron variant – and despite there being no cases in the Big Apple yet, the world is on high alert.

  • Milica Cosic

    High risk

    Yesterday, video emerged of travellers being told they couldn't get off a plane in Amsterdam after the first European case was confirmed in Belgium.

    They were finally allowed off the jet after being tested and leaving their details with contact tracers.

    The situation could soon worsen if Omicron spreads, it's feared.

    The strain has officially been named a "variant of concern" by the WHO.

  • Milica Cosic

    Omicron variant ‘arrives in Germany’ via South Africa

    A NEW mutant super-strain of Covid has reportedly arrived in Germany – while dozens of passengers travelling from South Africa to Amsterdam have tested positive the virus.

    Health chiefs say it's overwhelmingly likely that "very high risk" Omicron is in Germany already after a traveller tested positive for a mutated form of the deadly bug.

    Meanwhile, 61 people onboard two flights into Schiphol Airport are known to be infected with coronavirus, with tests under way to see if they too have the variant.

    It comes amid huge concern over Omicron, believed by experts to be the "worst variant ever".

  • Milica Cosic

    ‘Huge international concern’

    Outside of Europe, the "horrific" mutation has also been detected in Israel today, with the country's health ministry confirming that one person had tested positive with the strain.

    In a statement yesterday, the ministry said two other passengers were also quarantining.

    It said that the patient had recently returned from Malawi, which borders Mozambique and Tanzania.

    The fact the patient had travelled back from Malawi suggests the variant is making its way through Africa.

    There are close to 80 cases of the variant in South Africa and experts warn the strain is behind an explosion of new cases, with some regions seeing a six-fold rise in infections in a matter of days.

    The mutation has raised alarm in the country as it has 'spread rapidly' among the young population in one of the country's most populous provinces, Gauteng.

    Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the country is still gathering information on the variant.

  • Milica Cosic

    Variant will likely reach Britain

    The frightening variant spreading through southern Africa is also "more transmissible" than Delta and will likely reach Britain, UK ministers have warned.

    Mr Javid said: "We are concerned that this new variant may pose substantial risk to public health. The variant has an unusual large number of mutations."

    He warned the strain combined elements of the Alpha, Beta and Delta super-strains that surged through Britain during the pandemic.

  • Milica Cosic

    Boris Johnson to address nation

    BORIS Johnson will address the nation in a press conference at 5pm today after two cases of a mutant super-strain of Covid were recorded in Britain.

    Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that two linked cases of the Omicron Covid variant have hit UK shores after spreading from travellers from southern Africa.

    The infected people are self isolating with their households.

    The PM will address the nation alongside Sir Patrick Vallance – the Government's chief scientific advisor – and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty.

  • Milica Cosic

    At a crossroads

    Hospitals in the Netherlands prepare for a "Code Black" situation as there could soon not be enough beds available for people struck down by Covid.

    Dutch health minister Hugo de Jonge insisted the country is still "very far away" from code black – but Peter Langenbach, chairman of the board of the Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam disputes this.

    And in Germany, hospitals ard filling up fast as authorities forced to fly severely ill people around the country to find intensive care beds.

    Professor Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s federal disease control agency, said the nation was "at a crossroads."

    “We have one choice. Either we choose the road that leads to chaos and to a bad end or the one which unburdens the health system and maybe enables a peaceful Christmas."

  • Milica Cosic

    Passengers flying into Heathrow ‘not tested’

    It's been revealed passengers flying into Heathrow said they were not tested or questioned about their travel history. 

    And now a hunt is underway to track hundreds of passengers who have recently arrived from South Africa, says Health Minister Sajid Javid.

    Those who have arrived in the UK from South Africa in recent days are being urged to take a free PCR test as UK health officials hold urgent discussions on how to deal with the new variant threat. 

  • Milica Cosic

    Fears Covid super-strain Omicron is already in UK

    A NEW Covid super-strain was officially named a "variant of concern" by the WHO last night – amid fears it has already spread to the UK.

    A dramatic video showed passengers banned from leaving a flight in Amsterdam arriving from South Africa hours after Belgium confirmed the first case in Europe.

    Variant B.1.1.529, now renamed Omicron has twice as many mutations as the delta strain and experts are cautioning that it could force countries back into lockdowns.

    It is now known to be in five countries after Belgium detected its first case this afternoon from of an unvaccinated person returning from abroad – the first case in Europe.

    Source: Read Full Article