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Nicola Sturgeon update: First Minister to give urgent Omicron announcement as cases erupt


Amid fears over the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Ms Sturgeon admitted last week restrictions would be kept under review. Indeed, over the weekend, professor Mark Woolhouse, the Scottish Government’s scientific adviser, warned it is now too late to stop the spread of the variant. Ms Sturgeon also warned that it is unclear if the variant will be resistant, or indeed avoid, current vaccines.

She said: “We know that booster vaccination gives you significant added protection – not just marginal added protection – so it really makes a difference.

“That was important before the emergence of the new variant, it’s even more important now.”

According to the Government’s data, there are 48 cases of the variant in Scotland as of December 5.

On November 30, there had been nine cases of the variant north of the border.

Due to the rapid rise, professor Woolhouse told the Andrew Marr Show: “I think that may be a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

“If Omicron is here in the UK, and it certainly is, if there’s community transmission in the UK, and it certainly looks that way, then it’s that community transmission that will drive a next wave.

“The cases that are being imported are important, we want to detect those and isolate any positive cases we find, as we would for any case anywhere.

“But I think it’s too late to make a material difference to the course of the Omicron wave, if we’re going to have one.”

On December 5, 3,894 new cases were reported in Scotland. 

However, cases have remained high after reaching a recent high of 3,820 on November 8. 

This has caused the seven day rolling average to hover at 50 cases per 100,000 after reaching 20.4 on August 2. 

This is a developing story, more to follow…

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