No cases of the Omicron COVID variant have been found on the Isle of Wight so far, however, the island’s public health chief has urged us to be careful.

A total of 246 Omicron COVID cases have been found in the UK so far, but, at least on Friday, the island’s director of public health, Simon Bryant, confirmed that none had been recorded on the ‘Isle.

The Omicron variant, found in 20 countries so far, has a different protein spike than other types of coronavirus, with healthcare professionals still not sure how it reacts to vaccines, how badly people can become. seriously ill and how it is spread.

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Speaking at a meeting of the Isle of Wight council’s local epidemic engagement committee, Mr Bryant told members the first signs were it might be okay, but he still wanted to be very careful about it.

Where Omicron cases have been found in England, very targeted and more robust contract tracing has been applied. Mr Bryant said those who have been in contact with an Omicron case will need to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of the vaccine you have received or the number of doses.

After the meeting, Bryant said that with all mutant viruses, people should be concerned, but that there is a “precautionary principle” of ensuring that precautions are in place in the event of a case. He said the way forward would be for people to continue to practice good hand hygiene, cover their faces, ventilate spaces and consider whether they have let go of “the right behaviors.”

The island was in a better location than last year, said Bryant, when the island was at Level 1, but saw a sudden increase in cases in the New Year as people mixed bubbles . He said:

“We have the vaccination program and it is going very well; We are seeing cases decrease in the over 60s because of the recall; We are seeing fewer hospitalizations because the immunization program is so effective.

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“We have a lot of viruses but not as many people as seriously ill, which is very good news. “

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