Covid Scotland: Omicron won't be the last variant, admits Humza Yousaf

Health secretary Humza Yousaf has issued a warning, conceding Omicron will almost certainly not be the final Covid variant to emerge.

The warning that Scotland was likely to still see further Covid variants over coming months comes as Mr Yousaf admitted the country remained in a “fragile state” due to the pandemic.

Extra Covid restrictions introduced on Boxing Day were removed on January 24 as Scottish Government officials reported the country was past the peak of the Omicron wave.

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Those extra measures had included the closing of nightclubs and reintroduction of social distancing between groups in leisure and hospitality premises. They were eased after ministers judged a prediction of 50,000 daily infections would not come to pass.

Humza Yousaf has conceded Scotland has not seen the last Covid variant. Picture: PA
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Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Monday, Mr Yousaf said: “Until we are in a more endemic state in relation to Covid, until we are able to get back to even more normality than we have at the moment, then I’m afraid those infection prevention and control measures in some shape or form are going to have to remain.

“Our recovery is going to have to work round what is currently still a quite fragile state.

“Any clinician or public health expert I’ve spoken to, nobody suggested to me that Omicron was the last variant that we’ll see.”

Despite the downturn in cases of the new variant, the Health Secretary cautioned there was still substantial pressure being exerted on the health service.

The Scottish Government insists the NHS "has come through the worst" crisis in its history.