Covid Scotland: First Omicron case recorded by NHS Lothian

The first Omicron case has been recorded by health chiefs in the Lothians.

By Laura Paterson
Sunday, 5th December 2021, 3:33 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th December 2021, 3:34 pm

Scotland-wide, cases have jumped by 18 in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 48.

And a case of the new variant was recorded in NHS Lothian for the first time.

Almost half of Scotland’s Omicron cases, 23, are in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde which recorded 12 more cases in 24 hours.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf urged Scots to make their Christmas plans 'safer'.

NHS Lanarkshire recorded four new cases in the same period and has 13 overall.

The two areas were the source of the outbreak in Scotland which emerged on Monday and was initially confined to cases linked to a single private event on November 20.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously confirmed there were now several sources of the new variant in Scotland as it spread in the community, including a Steps concert at the Hydro in Glasgow on Monday November 22.

The first case of Omicron has been recorded by NHS Lothian.

In the figures released on Sunday, a further case was confirmed in the Forth Valley health board area, taking the total to six.

Case numbers in NHS Highland and NHS Grampian remain at three and two respectively.

Ahead of the release of the figures, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said people across Scotland should continue with their Christmas plans but “make them safer” amid concern about the new variant.

He said he was not going to tell people not to invite their grandmother for Christmas dinner, but urged those meeting indoors to ask people to take lateral flow tests before arrival and ensure adequate ventilation.

Mr Yousaf told BBC Radio Scotland’s The Sunday Show: “You don’t have to cancel your (Christmas) plans but definitely make them safer. That’s what I’m going to do.

“Me and my constituency office are going to go to a restaurant for lunch but have all agreed that we will be doing lateral flow tests before then on the day.

“The same for Christmas dinner with my family. We’ll have my mother-in-law and some other relatives over and they’ll all be doing lateral flow devices.

“I’ll not be taking their Covid certification at the door but we’ll just be doing what we can to make our plans a bit safer.

“We’re asking people to exercise their judgment and make their Christmas plans as safe as they possibly can.”

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Questioned if people should limit the numbers they invite at Christmas, he said they should take precautions but that he would not stipulate who people could have over for Christmas dinner.

“I’m not going to say to people that you shouldn’t invite their cousin, that you shouldn’t invite their granny to Christmas dinner,” he said.

“What I’m saying is, take the precautions that we’re asking you to.”

He added: “Adjust your plans to make them safer but I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to invite your granny to Christmas dinner.”

Scotland recorded one coronavirus-linked death and 2,067 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to the latest data released on Sunday afternoon.

There were 586 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19 as of Saturday night and, of these, 45 were in intensive care.

So far, 4,352,104 people had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 3,958,162 had had a second, and 1,859,735 had been given a third dose or booster.

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