The United Kingdom
(UK) may be experiencing community transmission of the omicron coronavirus
variant in multiple regions of England, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.
Speaking to members of Parliament, Javid said the variant was continuing to
spread “here and around the world” and there were now cases here “with no links
to international travel”.

The UK has so far
reported at least 336 confirmed cases from the highly-mutative variant, Javid
said. However, none of the people with omicron infection have been
hospitalised. The Health Secretary said he could not guarantee the variant
would not “knock us off our road to recovery”.

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Nicola Sturgeon, the
First Minister of Scotland, said omicron spread in the community after a number
of cases linked to a Steps concert in Glasgow.

The Health
Secretary said the government was yet to have a complete picture on whether the
omicron variant caused more severe disease or not, or how it interacted with
current vaccines.

Since the
detection of the omicron variant in the UK, the government has reintroduced the
mandate to wear masks in public and has also bolstered infrastructure for
booster shots. “When the virus adapts, we must adapt too,” the Health Secretary

Sajid Javid said
that the UK will be recruiting 10,000 vaccinators to bolster the booster shots
programme and 350 defense personnel will also be deployed to help give

Also Read | COVID shots may be less effective against omicron: Oxford vaccine creator

The United Kingdom
has imposed travel curbs on several nations in Africa. On Monday, Nigeria
became the 11th nation to figure on the red list. The UK government
said that most of the omicron coronavirus variant cases reported in the country
are linked to travel. Explaining the addition of Nigeria to the red list, Sajid
Javid said at least 21 omicron cases have been linked to travel from Nigeria.