Omicron variant: cases in Glasgow area linked to ‘single private event’

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All nine cases of the Omicron variant so far identified in Scotland - including four in Greater Glasgow and Clyde - have been linked to a single private event, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

None of the cases had any connection with travel to South Africa, the First Minister announced on Tuesday, suggesting community transmission.

In an update to MSPs, Ms Sturgeon announced Scotland’s testing regime will be increased, with lateral flow tests to be made available for free at shopping centres, supermarkets, sports grounds and Christmas markets.

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Comply with the restrictions

The First Minister did not announce any further Covid-19 related restrictions, but urged members of the public to comply with those already in place.

“Thanks to the work of the global scientific community, we will find out much more about Omicron in the days and weeks ahead - and as our knowledge and understanding expands, we will be able to assess with more certainty the implications for our response to the pandemic,” she said.

“I hope that as we learn more, our level of concern will diminish rather than increase. However, while hoping very much for the best, it is prudent at this stage to contemplate and prepare for something less positive than that.

“The fact is that any variant which might be more transmissible than Delta - and which could, even to a limited extent, evade vaccine or natural immunity - must be taken seriously.

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“That is why we have - and will continue for now - to respond in a way that is proportionate but also highly precautionary.”

New Omicron cases


More cases of the new variant are expected in connection with the same private event, Ms Sturgeon said.

The individuals who have been identified – five in Lanarkshire, and four in Greater Glasgow and Clyde – have been self-isolating since they tested positive on or around November 23.

None of them are currently in hospital.

Public Health Scotland is still examining any potential link between the Omicron variant in Scotland and COP26, but Ms Sturgeon said no connection has so far been found.

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