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 - Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

UK Measures to Tackle Omicron Variant 'Proportionate and Responsible', PM Johnson Says

© REUTERS / TOBY MELVILLEBritain's PM Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London
Britain's PM Johnson walks outside Downing Street in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.11.2021
LONDON (Sputnik) – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended on Tuesday the re-imposition of mandatory face covering on public transport and shops and compulsory PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers, saying that such measures are "proportionate and responsible" to tackle the spreading of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
"The measures taking effect today are proportionate and responsible, and will buy us time in the face of this new variant," Johnson wrote on his Twitter.
He also encouraged people to get a COVID-19 booster jab when eligible, stressing that "vaccines and boosters remain our best line of defence."
On Monday, UK health authorities announced they had accepted a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to extend the COVID-19 booster vaccine to all people aged 18 and over, and shorten to three months the gap between the second dose and the third.
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus was first identified in South Africa last week and the World Health Organization has classified it as a variant of concern.
A total of 14 cases, including nine in Scotland and five in England, have been detected so far in the United Kingdom.
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