People across Sandwell and West Birmingham have reacted to the discovery of the Omicron variant in their borough.
One case of the Omicron coronavirus variant was discovered on Thursday in Sandwell, and officially confirmed today.
It is the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus variant in the West Midlands county. Two cases have also been discovered in Warwickshire.
The Omicron strain, or B.1.1.529, is a super mutant variant which has 50 genetic mutations, over 30 of them being spike protein mutations.
Here’s what local people have said about the confirmation of the Omicron variant:
Justeen Fellows said on Twitter: “Quite a few people in the test centre today in Tipton. Last time we went it was empty. You can see the difference.”
Steve Meredith said on Facebook: “No surprise. Non-mask wearing seems to be a badge of honour here.”
Michael Bowater said on Facebook: “Not surprised. Just had hospital appointment at City Hospital ( Dudley Road). Caught No. 87 bus from Oldbury and back, not many with masks on . They won’t comply.”
Kris Fors said on Facebook: “Lockdown is in need to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
Dave Potts said on Facebook: “Lockdown all year next year I’m triple vaxxed wear two masks at all times but still feel as if I’m unsafe from such a deadly variant of this killer pandemic.”
How many Omicron varaint cases have been confirmed across the country?
The UK reported 90 new cases of Omicron on December 5, according to official figures.
These include 64 new cases in England, 23 in Scotland and three in Wales.
Northern Ireland has still not seen any confirmed Omicron cases.
It takes the total number of Omicron cases in the UK to 336., meaning the vast majority are still likely to be Delta.
Infections have remained at very high levels for weeks and experts have warned people to be cautious ahead of the Christmas period.
In the UK, 51,459 people tested positive for coronavirus on December 5, according to official figures.
This represents a nine per cent rise on last week. There were 41 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, a fall of two per cent.
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