Three new Omicron cases found in Scotland, Humza Yousaf confirms

A further three new Omicron cases have been confirmed in Scotland.

The total numb of people testing positive for the new variant across the country now stands at nine.

Five people in Lanarkshire and four from Greater Glasgow and Clyde have been identified with the new strain.

It comes after the Scottish Government announced six yesterday with four in Lanarkshire and just two in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Humza Yousaf confirmed the update while speaking to the BBC on Good Morning Scotland earlier today.

The Health Secretary insisted the cases are not linked to Cop26 or the South African rugby match.

He urged people over 40s to move up their booster jab and for all Scots to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Meanwhile scientists have raised the alarm over the strain, which is believed to be more transmissible than previous versions of Covid-19.

There are also fears that the variant could escape some of the protections given by the vaccines.

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported from South Africa on November 24. Scientists were able to detect the strain from a sample collected on November 9.

Two days later, the World Health Organisation (WHO) branded the strain as a ‘variant of concern’ and named it Omicron.

Other variants of concern include Alpha, Beta and Delta – the last of which has become the dominant strain in Scotland over the past few months.

Yousaf said: “We have now identified nine cases, so an additional three, meaning there is five cases from Lanarkshire and four from Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“There is nothing that links these cases or variants back to Cop26 or the South African rugby match.

“Of the current class we found timings would be off to link them.”

Experts say Omicron has a ‘large number’ of mutations, with some said to be of particular concern.

Early evidence has appeared to suggest that there is an increased risk of reinfection with this variant.

WHO reports Omicron may have a ‘growth advantage’ following a spike in infections across a majority of regions in South Africa.

The strain has also spread to a number of countries in southern Africa and Europe.

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