Nicola Sturgeon: ‘We are now through the worst of this wave of Omicron’
Scotland is “through the worst” of Omicron, the First Minister has said.
Nicola Sturgeon confirmed case numbers of Covid-19 have been “broadly stable” over the last two weeks, while the number of deaths from the virus are starting to decline.
Hospital admittances are also going down, while the number of patients being treated in intensive care is at the lowest since July.
The Scottish Government is to publish a new “strategic framework” out of the pandemic later this month to reflect this “increased optimism”, Sturgeon added.
She said: “We are now through the worst of this wave of Omicron. That has enabled the removal of virtually all of the additional measures that were introduced in December and a return to normality in much of our daily lives.”
In the last 24 hours, there have been 6,630 positive cases of coronavirus.
The seven-day average has seen case numbers fall in under 15s, those aged 25 to 44, and those over 75, but numbers have risen in other age groups.
The First Minister said it was “always likely” there would be an uptick given the lifting of public health restrictions, hence the continuation of “baseline measures” such as the vaccine passport scheme and face coverings.
Regarding a new sub-type of Omicron, Sturgeon confirmed this new type was becoming more common but there was “no evidence” it is more severe or any more immune to vaccination than Omicron.
The Scottish Conservatives have today called the government to scrap the Test and Protect contact tracing system to free up money for frontline NHS services.
The party’s health spokesperson, Sandesh Gulhane, added: “We believe it’s time to move on from blanket legal restrictions to an approach that emphasises personal responsibility. We must get Scotland back to as close to normal for as many people as possible.”
He also called for the removal of the requirement on pupils to wear face masks in schools.
Sturgeon confirmed this would be considered again by the education sub-group this afternoon, with an announcement on arrangements for after the February break to be made shortly.
Meanwhile, Labour’s Anas Sarwar expressed concern about families being “locked out” of care homes and unable to visit loved ones.
He called for the government to “guarantee access for families right now”.
The First Minister said the government was working to implement Anne’s Law – ensuring people who live in care homes have a right to see family – “as soon as possible”.