Covid Scotland: Case numbers and hospitalizations to be published less often as pandemic becomes ‘calmer’

The information will no longer be published at weekends, the First Minister told MSPs on Tuesday, reflecting “less of a requirement for immediate data”.

The Scottish Government’s revised strategic framework for dealing with the pandemic will be published on February 22, Ms Sturgeon said.

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The First Minister also confirmed that all current measures, including the requirement for Covid certification and face coverings in secondary schools, will remain for now.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minster’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh. Picture date: Thursday February 3, 2022.

The Advisory Sub-group on Education is set to meet later on Tuesday and consider the continued evidence around face coverings in schools.

It comes as 6,630 new cases of Covid were announced in Scotland.

Some 950 people are in hospital with Covid, while 18 are in intensive care. A further 14 deaths were reported.

The Scottish Conservatives have called for an end to all restrictions, including face coverings in schools, vaccine passports and contact tracing requirements.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “With the virus retreating, blanket emergency measures risk doing more harm than good to our health and wellbeing. We are calling on the Government to adopt a new, more targeted approach to Covid which protects the most vulnerable, while rebuilding our public services.

“We are urging the Scottish Government to start tackling issues that have been put on pause, such as fixing our NHS staffing crisis so that burnt-out frontline health workers can cope and giving extra support to children whose education has suffered during the pandemic.

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“It is time to move Scotland as close to normality as possible for as many people as possible. That is the only way that we can fully recover from this pandemic.”

Ms Sturgeon also gave an update on the new sub-variant of Omicron, BA.2.

A total of 103 cases have now been confirmed in Scotland, but this is believed to be an underestimate.

“Encouragingly, there remains no evidence at this stage that the disease caused by the BA.2 subtype is any more severe than that caused by the main Omicron variant,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“Nor does it appear to be any more capable of evading the immunity conferred by vaccination or prior infection.

“However there is evidence, from more than one country now, of a growth advantage for BA.2 compared to the main Omicron variant, which may mean it is more transmissible.

“All in all, however, there are no grounds at this stage for any significant concern about BA.2 – and no reason to change our approach in response to it. We will, though, continue to monitor it carefully.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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