Eight more Omicron variant cases found in England bringing total to 13

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Eight more Omicron variant cases found in England bringing total to 13
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Eight further cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in England.

It brings the total number in the country to 13, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

The news comes as Boris Johnson held a press conference at Downing Street on the Omicron variant on Tuesday.

London is among the locations where the confirmed cases have been discovered.

Confirmed cases have also been identified in the East Midlands, the East of England and the North West.

Officials said individuals who have tested positive and their close contacts have gone into isolation.

Work is under way to identify any links to travel to southern Africa, the UKHSA said.

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of UKHSA, said: “It is very likely that we will find more cases over the coming days as we are seeing in other countries globally and as we increase case detection through focused contact tracing.

“That’s why it’s critical that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms isolates and gets a PCR test immediately.”

Sajid Javid told a Downing Street press conference they expected numbers of the Omicron variant to “rise”.

“We don’t have a full picture of how our vaccines respond to this new variant,” he said.

The Health Secretary urged we were putting the booster programmes on “steroids” as the government set hugely ambitious targets.

In the same press conference, the Prime Minister outlined the big target for everyone eligible for a booster jab being offered one by the end of January.

The Prime Minister said: “The target that we’ve set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January.

“As with the first jabs, we will be working through people by age group going down in five-year bands, because it is vital that the older and the more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.

“So, even if you have had your second jab over three months ago and you are now eligible, please don’t try and book until the NHS says it is your turn.”

He said scientists were working hard to crack the Omicron “code” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to the nation, Mr Johnson urged everyone to get their booster jab and to wait for their turn.

He told reporters he would be getting his booster jab on Thursday.

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