Health Secretary warns of another wave of Covid this winter


Lucinda Cameron and Lauren Gilmour

Wed, 12 October 2022 at 1:53 pm

Health Secretary warns of another wave of Covid this winter
Health Secretary warns of another wave of Covid this winter

Another wave of Covid is expected in Scotland this winter, the Health Secretary has said.

The latest figures showed the number of people in hospital with Covid increased by 12.6% last week.

In the week ending October 9, there were on average 838 patients in hospital with Covid, up from 744 the previous week, Public Health Scotland (PHS) data shows.

There were 17 new admissions to intensive care units (ICUs) with a laboratory-confirmed test of Covid in the week to Sunday, one less than the previous week.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the Scottish Government is expecting another wave and urged anyone eligible for vaccination to take up the offer.

He told the PA news agency: “The clinical advice I gave to my chief medical officer from the national clinical director is that we should expect another Covid wave this winter.

“When we look at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for the last couple of weeks, the trend has been relatively uncertain.

“But if we look at some of the other statistics that we’ve got, that helps to give us that broader picture.

“It certainly seems like there’s some variance and we’re starting to see a bit of an uptick in some of our cases, so we’ll keep a really close eye on all of the data from wastewater right the way through to ONS and everything in between.

“But we are expecting another Covid wave, so that’s why it’s so important if you’re eligible for vaccination, that you come forward and get yourself vaccinated. because we know that can help reduce your chances of being hospitalised and being severely ill.”

The PHS report said: “Following a fall in cases since mid-July, the average number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 has been increasing in recent weeks.”

In the week ending October 9, there were 229 new Covid-19 admissions to hospital according to provisional figures, with no data available for three NHS boards.

The Scottish Government said more than 1.3 million vaccines have been delivered to protect against the latest strains of flu and Covid-19.

The Covid-19 vaccine is being given at the same time as the flu jab where possible, and so far 94% of those invited have had both at the same appointment.

More than two million people in Scotland will be offered both vaccines over the next three months.

Mr Yousaf said: “This impressive uptake is testament to the frontline staff who got us through the pandemic and continue to protect our population and NHS from the threats that winter brings.

“Scotland remains steadfast in the effort to protect everyone – continuing the huge success of the vaccination programme since it was first rolled out in December 2020.

“Covid-19 has not gone away and I call on everyone to take up the offer of a booster as soon as their invitation arrives to protect themselves, their families and the NHS.”

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