Scotland is facing a tsunami of infections from the Omicron variant, warns Nicola Sturgeon

TThe Omicron Covid-19 variant is growing faster in England than the Delta variant, reported the British health authority UKHSA.

UKHSA’s latest technical briefing suggests Omicron should become the UK’s dominant variant by mid-December, with a million infections by the end of this month if current trends continue.

The data suggests that if Omicron continues to grow at the current rate, the variant will become the dominant strain and account for more than half of all coronavirus infections in the UK by mid-December.

The new data suggest that “the vaccine protection against mild symptomatic illnesses could be significantly reduced by Omicron”.

The effectiveness against serious illnesses is still unknown, but is expected to be higher, according to the briefing.

Dr. Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunization at UKHSA, said: “These early estimates should be taken with caution, but they suggest that a few months after the second vaccination there is a greater risk of the Omicron variant compared to the Delta strain to get.

“The data suggest that this risk is significantly reduced after a booster, so I encourage everyone to take their booster if it is an option. We expect the vaccines to have greater protection against the serious complications of Covid-19. So if you haven’t received your first two doses yet, please book an appointment immediately.

“Working from home when possible, consistently wearing masks in crowded or enclosed spaces, washing your hands regularly, and isolating and testing yourself if you feel unwell are also critical to the effects of Covid-19 this winter. “