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Nicola Sturgeon to give covid update to MSPs as Omicron cases reach record high

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Nicola Sturgeon is set to give a coronavirus update to the Scottish Parliament later this week after cases reached record numbers over New Year.Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone confirmed earlier today that MSPs would hear from the First Minister during a virtual sitting on Wednesday.

The SNP leader will give a 20-minute statement on the latest figures from across the country and announce if any new measures will be introduced to halt the spread of covid.

Scottish Government figures released today revealed that 20,217 new cases were identified in the last 24 hours - the highest daily rate since the pandemic began.

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Public health warning issued for -6C lows as UK braces for 5 day cold snap - - Britain
Public health warning issued for -6C lows as UK braces for 5 day cold snap
weather this week as officials issued a public health warning for subzero temperatures.The Met Office has applied an advisory for cold weather in England for the West Midlands, East Midlands, East, South East, and South West from 6pm on Wednesday 19 January to 9am on Sunday 23 January.Overnight lows of -6C are expected in Oxfordshire on Thursday, with mist also likely to cause issues in many parts of southern England.The UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) has even asked Britons to drop in on elderly or vulnerable friends and neighbours when the so-called 'big freeze' hits.Agostinho Sousa, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at UKHSA, said: "Cold weather can have a serious impact on health, particularly for older people and those with heart and lung problems, as it increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and chest infections."Remind vulnerable relatives and neighbours to heat their home to at least 18°C – particularly if they have reduced mobility, are 65 or older, or have a health condition. Should they need to go outside, it’s important for them to wear shoes with a good grip."Steve Ramsdale, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, has offered an explanation for the temperature drop and said that things should warm up by the weekend.He said: "A change in conditions brings cold air to the UK, spreading from the north later on Wednesday then lingering over England and Wales for the rest of the week and into the weekend.With easing winds and good clear spells, a widespread frost is likely on Thursday and Friday morning with temperatures recovering somewhat by day.