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Further Omicron variant of coronavirus cases bring Scotland’s total to 13

Further Omicron variant of coronavirus cases bring Scotland’s total to 13
UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) figures show a further three cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Scotland bringing the total to 13.

A further three cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus bring the total in Scotland to 13.

At present there is no direct link to the first nine cases, which were identified earlier in the week and connected to an event on November 20, the Scottish Government has said.

Authorities have said the 13 cases are divided with seven in NHS Lanarkshire and six in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).

All close contacts of suspected Omicron cases will be advised to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “This is an evolving situation and contact tracing and health protection teams are working to establish close contacts and any potential links between Omicron cases.

“As such, it takes time to confirm any significant links between settings or cases and we will confirm any if identified.”

“As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Parliament on Tuesday, it was already suspected that some degree of community transmission of this variant was taking place in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said people should not put Christmas plans on hold (Jane Barlow/PA)

“However, there is no indication as yet that transmission of the new variant is either sustained or widespread.

“Public Health Scotland is working hard to identify any and all cases of Omicron in Scotland as quickly as possible.

“This enhanced surveillance gives us the best possible chance of identifying cases quickly, breaking transmission chains and containing spread while we learn more about this variant.”

The Scottish Government said that vaccination was the “most important line of defence” and also urged people to comply “rigorously” with all the protections currently in place to stem transmission.

Ms Sturgeon has said she is not asking people to put Christmas plans on hold at the moment following the emergence of the Omicron variant, but she urged people to take a lateral flow test before mixing with other households.

Booster vaccinations are being extended to all those aged 18 and the interval between the second and third dose is being cut from six to three months after a recommendation from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Meanwhile, Scotland has recorded 27 coronavirus-linked deaths and 3,002 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data.

It means the death toll under this daily measure, of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, is 9,618.

The daily test positivity rate was 7.4% according to data published by the Scottish Government on Thursday, down from 7.9% the previous day.

There were 680 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19 as of Wednesday night and, of these, 48 people were in intensive care.

So far, 4,349,058 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 3,953,170 have had a second, and 1,755,694 have been given a third dose or booster.