Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Alamy Stock Photo
# variant of concern
Omicron cases in Scotland increase to 29 with Steps concert the source of six cases
Wales has also recorded its first cases of the variant of concern.

SCOTLAND HAS NOW recorded 29 cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, an increase of 16 in the past 24 hours. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned they may rise “significantly” in the coming days as the variant is circulating in the community. 

Sturgeon said that a Steps concert in Glasgow is among the sources of the cases, with six cases linked to the event. 

Omicron is designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation, experts have yet to fully determine its potential impact on the spread of Covid-19 but there are concerns that it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus and more suited to evading immunity from vaccines or previous infection. 

The variant is spreading rapidly in parts of southern Africa and has led to travel restrictions from a number of countries but it has also been identified in roughly 30 countries, including Ireland. 

Ireland confirmed its first case of Omicron on Wednesday, in a person who had last week travelled from southern Africa.  

Scotland has now identified 29 cases of the variant.

Previously, nine Omicron cases were linked to a single private event Sturgeon said there are now several different sources of infections of Omicon , including a Steps concert at the Hydro in Glasgow on Monday 22 November.

Risk to those who attended is said to be low and those who may have come into contact with the new variant at the event are being contacted.

“The number of Omicron cases now being reported in Scotland is rising, and cases are no longer all linked to a single event, but to several different sources including a Steps concert at the Hydro on 22 November,” Sturgeon said.

This confirms our view that there is now community transmission of this variant within Scotland. Given the nature of transmission we would expect to see cases rise, perhaps significantly, in the days ahead.


The first case of the Omicron variant has also been confirmed in Wales, in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area, the Welsh Government has said.

The case is linked to international travel. 

The Welsh Government said it is “prepared to respond rapidly to emerging variants of concern and intensive investigations and robust public health action are being taken to slow any spread”.

Two people at the University of Oxford are also suspected to have the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

A University spokesperson said: “We can confirm that two members of Oxford University have tested positive for Covid-19, and the Omicron variant is suspected.

“The individuals are now isolating in line with government guidance and their close contacts have been notified and are also isolating.”

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel