Multiple cases of the new Omicron coronavirus variant have been detected in the UK.
Brentwood, Essex, and Nottingham have each reported two cases. Those infected had recently travelled to South Africa, where the variant was first discovered.
Omicron has a stronger transmission rate than the other variants, meaning scientists are making every minute count to determine whether current vaccinations are effective against it.
The Prime Minister and officials swiftly responded by putting PCR testing and self-isolation policies for high-risk areas in place.
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Dr Jenny Harries assures British people that the government is capable of genetic sequencing to find variants, and responding to them quickly.
To halt transmission, British people are now required to wear masks in public places, such as shopping centres and public transport.
Although the government lifted face mask legislation on July 19, the country has returned to the stage of mask wearing due Omicron.
Prof Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer of the UK, emphasises the need for the public to continue wearing masks daily. Masks are an effective physical barrier to prevent people from exposing to viruses. They can be much safer in this critical time.
Prof Chris Whitty also encourages the public to get the booster jab. Vaccinations and the booster jab may not prevent people from suffering Omicron or other coronavirus variants but they are effective in reducing the possibility of severe symptoms of coronavirus, Prof Whitty stressed.
The Prime Minister has exerted pressure on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to manufacture more booster jabs for all adults in England. According to Prof Whitty, it will be an urgent decision that JCVI has to make as quickly as possible.
The British government also anticipates covering children in this campaign. It requires JCVI to produce sufficient vaccines for children aged 12 to 15 years old to get the second dose.
The Prime Minister and officials are working hard to guarantee more people can be vaccinated. They are confident that the approaching Christmas will be much better than last year.
Read more about the Omicorn Variant
Words: Catherine Chu | Subbing by: Sarah Chaffey