The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland

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The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
© Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Britain

LONDON — Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there is evidence of local transmission of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus after the country reported its first six cases.

She told a news conference that not all the cases in Scotland had links to recent travel, adding that this suggests “there might already be some community transmission of this variant in Scotland.”

The new cases takes the U.K.’s total to nine after three cases were identified in England over the weekend.

The arrival of the variant on British shores prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tighten restrictions on mask-wearing and testing of international arrivals to England.

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
© Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Britain

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— 13 omicron cases discovered in Portuguese soccer club

— AP explains what is known and not known about the new COVID-19 variant

Merriam-Webster chooses vaccine as the 2021 word of the year

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
© Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Britain

Why WHO skipped ‘nu,’ ‘xi’ for new COVID variant

— See all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s planning minister said a big vaccination campaign against coronavirus will be expedited this week to minimize the threat of the new variant.

Asad Umar warned that the new coronavirus variant known as omicron will inevitably come to the Islamic nation in the next few weeks, and he urged unvaccinated citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Umar said since the world is interconnected, it is impossible to stop the new variant from entering Pakistan.

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LISBON, Portugal — Portuguese health authorities said they have identified 13 cases of omicron, the new coronavirus variant believed to be more contagious, among team members of a professional soccer club.

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
© Provided by Associated Press Police officers check the vaccination certificates of guests in a restaurant in Hannover, Germany, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. On behalf of the local authorities, the police are starting to patrol restaurants and other catering establishments in order to check the measures to battle the spread of the coronavirus. (Ole Spata/dpa via AP)

The Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute said Monday that one of those who tested positive at the Lisbon-based Belenenses soccer club had recently traveled to South Africa, where the omicron variant was first identified.

The others, however, hadn’t traveled to South Africa, indicating that this may be one of the very first cases of local transmission of the virus outside of southern Africa.

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
© Provided by Associated Press People pass through Waterloo train station, in London, during the morning rush hour, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. The new potentially more contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in more European countries on Saturday, just days after being identified in South Africa, leaving governments around the world scrambling to stop the spread. In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said mask-wearing in shops and on public transport will be required, starting Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania wants to repatriate 39 of its citizens from South Africa, including members of a professional rugby team, amid suspended flights because of concerns over the omicron variant.

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
© Provided by Associated Press Virus Outbreak Britain

Romania’s foreign ministry said it will organize a special repatriation flight and urged Romanian citizens in South Africa who want to leave the country to notify the authorities as soon as possible.

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
© Provided by Associated Press Tourist visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Thailand, starting this Wednesday, will ban visitors from eight southern African countries where the new COVID-19 variant omicron has been found. From Dec. 15, The kingdom will require arrivals from all other African nations to undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine upon arrival. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Romania’s sports minister, Eduard Novak, said he has been in close contact with Romania’s national champion rugby team whose members are in South Africa.

The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland
Virus Outbreak India A woman hold her arm after receiving Covishield COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Mumbai, India, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) A health worker shows an empty syringe after inoculating a woman with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine during the first day of a nationwide three-day vaccination drive at a school in Quezon city, Philippines on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. There has been no reported infection so far caused by the new variant in the Philippines, a Southeast Asian pandemic hotspot where COVID-19 cases have considerably dropped to below 1,000 each day in recent days, but the emergence of the Omicron variant has set off a new alarm. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Philippines Airplanes sit on the tarmac at Haneda international airport in Tokyo, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. As cases of a new coronavirus variant are confirmed around the world, Japan announced Monday that it will suspend entry of all foreign visitors, joining an increasing number of countries that are tightening their borders as fear spreads of yet another extension of pandemic suffering. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) Students wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus leave their school after classes in Beijing, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Despite the global worry, scientists caution that it’s still unclear whether the omicron COVID-19 variant is more dangerous than other versions of the virus that has killed more than 5 million people. Some countries are continuing with previous plans to loosen restrictions, with signs of reopening in Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) Virus Outbreak China

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