One of the 22 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in England is in Buckinghamshire

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has so far identified 22 cases of coronavirus with mutations consistent with B.1.1.529 - also known as the Omicron variant - in the country.

One of those cases is in Buckinghamshire, it has been revealed today. 

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The individuals that have tested positive and their contacts are all isolating, the UKHSA has said, and work is underway to identify any links to travel to Southern Africa. 

As of December 1, the breakdown of cases by local authority is: 

  • Barnet: 2
  • Bexley: 1
  • Brentwood: 1
  • Buckinghamshire: 1
  • Camden: 2
  • Haringey: 1
  • Lancaster: 1
  • Lewisham: 2
  • Liverpool: 1
  • Newham: 1
  • North Norfolk: 1
  • Nottingham: 1
  • South Cambridgeshire: 1
  • Sutton: 1
  • Three Rivers: 1
  • Wandsworth: 1
  • Westminster: 3

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of UKHSA, said: "We are continuing our efforts to understand the effect of this variant on transmissibility, severe disease, mortality, antibody response and vaccine efficacy.

"Vaccination is critical to help us bolster our defences against this new variant – please get your first, second, third or booster jab without delay.

"Following the change in JCVI advice earlier this week, a booster dose for everyone over 18 years is now recommended and will be available at a minimum of three months from your last primary course jab. Please take up this offer as soon as you are eligible to protect yourself, your families and your communities.

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"Please make sure to wear a mask in line with government guidance, including on public transport and in shops, to help break the chains of transmission and slow the spread of this new variant.

"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."