Omicron Scotland: One new case identified

One new case of the Omicron variant has been identified in Scotland, bringing the total to ten.

It is not yet known where the latest case has been found or whether it is linked to those previously reported.

Of the nine cases previously reported, five were located in Lanarkshire and four in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

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In an update to MSPs on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon revealed that none had any link to South Africa or other international travel, meaning all were the result of community transmission.

A pathology trainee biomedical scientist (BMS) in microbiology, prepares Covid-19 tests for analysis in the laboratory at Whiston Hospital in Merseyside in October 2020.

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Omicron variant: Nine cases linked to single event as Scotland ramps up testing

They are also all linked to a single private event, held on November 20. None of the infected individuals have been hospitalised and all have been self-isolating since they were tested on or around November 23.

It comes as 2,796 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Wednesday, representing a positivity rate of 7.9 per cent.

Ms Sturgeon said on Tuesday that she expected further cases linked to this event to emerge, and added that it is “almost certain” the variant will spread further in Scotland.

As scientists learn more about the variant, Ms Sturgeon said she hopes levels of concern will reduce 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,” she said.

"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.

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

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