The Latest: Local transmission of virus variant in Scotland

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Scotland’s first minister after country reports first six cases has evidence of local transmission of the new Omicron version of the coronavirus

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

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The new cases take the UK 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 ban the wearing of masks and testing international arrivals in England.

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More on the pandemic:

– 13 Omicron cases found in Portuguese soccer club

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

— Merriam-Webster chooses Vaccine as 2021 Word of the Year

– Why WHO omitted ‘nu,’ ‘xi’ for new COVID version

— See all of ‘s pandemic coverage at

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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s planning minister said a major vaccination campaign against the coronavirus would be intensified this week to reduce the risk of the new version.

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

Omar said that since the world is intertwined, it is impossible to stop the new version from entering Pakistan.

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LISBON, Portugal – Portuguese health officials 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.

Ricardo Jorge’s National Health Institute said on Monday that one of those who tested positive at the Belenense soccer club in Lisbon had recently traveled to South Africa, where the Omicron variant was first identified.

However, the others had not traveled to South Africa, indicating that this may have been one of the first cases of local transmission of the virus outside of southern Africa.

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BUCHAREST, Romania – Romania is looking to repatriate 39 of its nationals from South Africa, including members of a professional rugby team, amid suspended flights over concerns over the Omicron version.

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

Romania’s Sports Minister Eduard Novak said he was in close contact with Romania’s national champion rugby team, whose members are based in South Africa.

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