Omicron in Scotland: First case confirmed in Fife
The first COVID case linked to the new Omicron variant has been confirmed in Fife.
It comes less than two weeks after it first emerged un South Africa and was reported to the World Health Organisation as a “variant of concern.”
NHS Fife is currently carrying out enhanced contact tracing to try to limit its transmission.
But the health organisation stressed that advice to the public remained unchanged - be vigilant to the signs of COVOD, and take all the standard precautions.
The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa, sparking renewed travel restrictions, and the return of face-mask wearing south of the border.
Dr Joy Tomlinson, NHS Fife Director of Public Health, said: “We have been aware for some time of the likelihood of omicron variant COVID cases in Fife and we are currently carrying out enhanced contact tracing to reduce the opportunity for more widespread transmission of the virus.
“The advice to local people, however, remains the same as it has for much of the response to the pandemic and we are asking people to remain vigilant of the signs and symptoms of COVID.
“Taking some simple steps, such as wearing face coverings wherever applicable, ensuring indoor spaces are well ventilated and thoroughly cleaning our hands surfaces regularly, all contribute towards reducing our risk of catching and spreading the virus.
“Crucially, we need anyone who develops any of the symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of how mild, and self-isolate and book a PCR test as soon as possible.”
NHS Fife has also ramped up its vaccine booster campaign - and says getting vaccinated remains the “ best available defence against the circulating strains of COVID-19” and reducing the impact of the Omicron variant locally.
Added Dr Tomlinson: “We urge people across the Kingdom to attend for vaccination when called to do so.
“There is clear evidence both here in Fife and elsewhere, that vaccination considerably reduces your risk of coming to serious harm so we’re urging those who haven’t yet been fully vaccinated to do so.
“Taking these small steps all contribute to helping us reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and result in fewer people becoming unwell after contracting the virus.”