Humza Yousaf: Omicron wave appears to be ‘decelerating’

The Health Secretary said case numbers seemed to be lower but there was still a degree of uncertainty.

Neil Pooran
Friday 14 January 2022 10:18
Humza Yousaf says the rate of Omicron cases is slowing down (Jane Barlow/PA)
Humza Yousaf says the rate of Omicron cases is slowing down (Jane Barlow/PA)

The Omicron wave of coronavirus appears to be “decelerating”, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

However, he stressed the need for more data in order to be definitive.

On Thursday, the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus figures included both PCR and lateral flow test numbers for the first time.

This was due to a change in the rules where a positive lateral flow result no longer needed a PCR confirmation.

Mr Yousaf appeared on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Friday, where he was asked if the Omicron wave had passed its peak.

The Health Secretary said he had spoken to his clinical advisors about it yesterday, saying: “A few more days of data would be extremely helpful to give a definitive answer to that.

“But I think it would be safe to say at this stage that the Omicron wave is decelerating.

“That is evident if you look at hospital numbers, where hospital admissions, although they continue to increase, there’s definitely a slowing-down of the rate of the increase.

“Certainly, the case numbers themselves, notwithstanding the instability of some of the data because of the recent changes, certainly looks like those numbers are lower than where we were at the peak.”

It would be necessary to wait a little longer to see the impact of schools returning, he said.

The Health Secretary also spoke about the recent decision to cut the self-isolation period for some positive cases, subject to two consecutive negative lateral flow tests.

He said: “The First Minister herself has said that when we made these self-isolation changes, it’s not that they were risk-free.

“They have an element of risk.”

He added: “We think we got that balance right, particularly given the absence levels in public services, including, of course, the NHS.”

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