Prime Minister Mark Drakeford gives latest Welsh Government briefing on Covid as Omicron spreads – updates live
Scotland faces ‘tsunami’ of infections at Omicron
More than the briefing from Scottish Prime Minister Nicoal Sturgeon who warned Scotland could see a “tsunami of infections” from the new Omicron variant.
She said an increase in cases is “virtually certain”, with modeling in a Scottish government evidence document showing infections could reach as high as 25,000 a day in a worst-case scenario.
The rate at which cases of the new variant are doubling is between two and three days, according to the newspaper, and it is highly likely that Omicron will become the dominant variant in Scotland “very quickly”.
The upper range of the document’s worst-case projection for the Omicron variant is just below 25,000 cases per day by December 20, while the most likely worst-case range will see cases rise slightly. more than 15,000.
Ideally, cases will peak at just over 1,250.
Ms Sturgeon said during the briefing: âThe point is that we face a renewed and very severe challenge with the new Omicron variant.
“To be frank, due to the much greater and faster transmissibility of this new variant, we could be facing – in fact we may be starting to experience – a potential tsunami of infections.”
More than 1,000 confirmed, probable and possible Omicron cases have been reported in Scotland so far, compared to nine in Wales. But Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said Wales were around a week behind Scotland and Wales.
The Prime Minister of Scotland said 5,018 positive coronavirus cases had been reported in the past 24 hours, adding: ‘These are one day’s numbers, but as you can see it is a big increase an average of about 2,800 per day that we have been reporting recently.
“This underscores our fear that a new wave may indeed begin.”
She said Omicron would likely become the dominant variant of Covid-19 in Scotland in “days, not weeks”.
Ms Sturgeon added: âOmicron is currently growing exponentially, indeed, what we’re seeing in the data right now is possibly the fastest exponential growth we’ve seen in this pandemic so far.
“If this continues, and we have no reason at this point to believe it won’t, Omicron will very quickly overtake Delta as the dominant strain in Scotland.
“Indeed, I think we can now say with some confidence that we expect it to overtake Delta in days, not weeks – we reckon it could be as early as the very beginning of next week.”
Even though the Omicron variant is less severe than the other strains, a “huge number” of patients may still need hospital care, Ms. Sturgeon said.
She said “a smaller percentage of a larger number will always result in a massive number of cases that may need hospital care.”
She added: “Considering the number of people who could be infected with Omicron due to its greater transmissibility, even though most of these cases are mild, the number of severe illness cases will put a strain on the ability of the NHS to face. ”