WITH the Omicron variant confirmed in Basingstoke, councillor Dan Putty gives his thoughts on how we can beat it.

It is confirmed that three cases have been recorded in the borough, with all Year 4 pupils and teachers at Hatch Warren Junior School self-isolating "as a precaution".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reintroduced restrictions for Britons, such as mandatory face masks in shops and public transport, while the red list for some countries has also been updated.

The mutations have the potential to make the virus more transmissible and escape protection created by the current batch of vaccines, however there have been no confirmed deaths of the Omicron variant.

Mr Putty said: "I am hoping it is not going to be as bad as the other variants. From what I hear it is not as aggressive as delta. We just don’t know and it’s very difficult to get a definite answer to. They are mutating all the time so we don’t know what is happening. We know South Africa got it quite badly but on the other side we have to really see the mutation and how it is growing.

"I hope, in Basingstoke we will take any step that can prevent and protect people because my main way of looking at it is if we can protect and wear masks - we have to go according to those and don’t let any of these viruses get a hold of the population. We want our population to be protected. That’s my main concern, that we are protected. Basingstoke and Deane is where we want people to be protected. We just have to live with it.

"Our lives have been changed. We have to adapt to a new way of living. For the time-being we have been making sure we don’t really get so much of the other variants that we can’t cope because we have to protect our hospital and COVID wards.

"So far, we are managing it well and making sure it is not spreading. I am asking people to wear a mask when using public transport.

"It is going to be with us and what I heard is that it may create the herd immunity that we are looking for. Once herd immunity comes around it may be like a common cold and we have to live with it and live life as it is. We must take our precaution and wear a mask and wash our hands. We must make sure we don’t spread it around but we must make sure we take as much precaution as possible to protect ourselves and others. We have to be sensible and cautious and make sure what we are doing among people that we don’t make other people unhealthy and protect ourselves and others."