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World on alert as UK reports cases of omicron COVID variant

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World on alert as UK reports cases of omicron COVID variant

LONDON (AP) - Britain has become the latest country to report cases of the new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus as world governments sought to shore up their defenses by slapping restrictions on travel from nations in southern Africa.

U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed Saturday that two people have tested positive with the omicron variant and that the cases are linked and related to travel from southern Africa.

There are fears that the recently identified new variant has the potential to be more resistant to the protection offered by vaccines, and that the pandemic will as a result persist for far longer than hoped.

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