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Covid: New case of Omicron variant confirmed in Wales

A FURTHER case of the Omicron variant has been identified in Wales, Public Health Wales has confirmed.

Earlier this afternoon, health minister Eluned Morgan warned that Wales must “prepare for cases to rise quickly” after three new cases were identified on Monday – taking Wales’ total to four.

And now a fifth case has been identified on Tuesday in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area. The person involved had recently travelled, Public Health Wales confirmed.

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Dr Meng Khaw, national director for health protection and screening services for Public Health Wales, said: “Public Health Wales is today (Tuesday, December 7) confirming a further case of the Omicron variant in Wales, bringing the total to five cases. 

“The new case is in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area, and has recently travelled.

“As we have said previously, an increase in cases of Omicron variant in Wales is to be expected.”

Currently, all five cases in Wales have been identified in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Ms Morgan described the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid as a “worrying new development in the pandemic”.

To help combat the spread of the virus, the Welsh Government is expanding the Covid booster jab programme and offering younger teenagers a second vaccine.

Dr Gill Richardson, the deputy chief medical officer for vaccines, said the new Omicron variant is “the most diversified variant so far” with 32 new changes to the spike protein and 10 changes to the receptor binding domain.

“These mutations mean that this variant may sidestep natural immunity,” she said. However she added that there was no evidence that vaccines will be less effective.

The people at most risk are those who have had not had any jabs, Dr Richardson told a press conference.

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