Covid: NHS Dumfries and Galloway records first suspected Omicron cases

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The health board said it was "only ever a matter of time" before cases arrived

The first suspected Omicron cases have been recorded in Dumfries and Galloway.

The region's health board said "fewer than five" cases had been identified but the number was expected to "rapidly increase".

Director of Public Health Valerie White said it was "only ever a matter of time" before the variant arrived.

However, she said the "few short days" it had avoided cases could have been "extremely valuable" in rolling out the region's vaccination programme.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway was one of the last health boards in Scotland without cases of the Omicron variant among its Covid figures.

Ms White said its arrival meant it was "absolutely vital" for anyone eligible to book a vaccination.

She also urged people to take a lateral flow test any time they were going into a situation where they would be mixing with others.