It’s Here!

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NHS Fife has reported a rapid increase in the Omicron variant, with the first case reported on the 6th December and rising steeply since the 14th. Numbers are still small but, given that the R number is somewhere between 3 and 5, numbers are expected to double every two days or less, they are expected to continue to rise rapidly.

A total of 5,115 new cases of coronavirus were identified in Scotland on December 15, with Omicron accounting for 265, or 5.14%, of these cases.

The First Minister introduced new guidance earlier this week, urging Scots to limit the number of other households they meet, but stopped short of reintroducing any legal restrictions. Ms Sturgeon said there could be up to 15,000 Omicron infections per day if the virus is allowed to spiral out of control.

Her comments have been  echoed by Dr Jenny Harries, the head of the UK Health Security Agency. Dr Harries told MPs in the House of Commons that the country would record “quite staggering” numbers of infections because of the new variant in the coming days.

“The real potential risk here – and I would underline that because we are still learning a lot about the variant – is in relation to its severity, clinical severity, and therefore whether those cases turn into severe disease, hospitalisations and deaths. We’re still at too early a stage for that, in fact the world probably is still at too early a stage to be clear,” she said.

Update: on the 17th December,  the First Minister reported that Omicron accounted for 51% of all cases. It is thought that cases are doubling on a daily basis.

St Andrews QV (Qui Vive) is an independent not-for-profit, non-political platform for news and debates about issues that are important to the Town. It exists to hold decision makers and public services to account while its editorial policy is to accommodate all shades of opinion from all parts of the community, prioritising evidence-based arguments. St Andrews QV is a member of the Independent Community News Network and is committed to the Community Journalism Charter

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