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Next Covid variant could be 'more severe' than Omicron, Jason Leitch has warned

The next Covid variant could be ‘more severe’ than Omicron, Scotland’s National Clinical Director has warned.

Earlier this week, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs there are signs of ‘encouragement’ in recent data as the new variant continues to spread across Scotland.

The First Minister said that new infection numbers have fallen in all age groups, apart from over 85s. She added that the situation in Scotland’s hospitals appears to be improving.

There have also been early studies that Omicron may be milder than previous variants, with one report suggesting that the risk of hospitalisation could be two-thirds lowers compared to Delta.

Professor Jason Leitch warned that Omicron will not be the last variant Scotland will see and suggested that the next strain could potentially be worse.

In an interview on STV’s Scotland Tonight, he also said that the country will need to ‘adapt’ to the next version of Covid.

He said: “We’ve had four variants, and they’ve got progressively worse, and this one has got slightly better. But Omicron didn’t come from Delta and Delta didn’t come from Alpha. That’s not how it works. They all come from the beginning.

“So you could get a more mild one, and that would help us and you would end up having fewer people in hospital, but you could get a more severe one. So we have to be ready for all of those eventualities.

“This is not the last variant, there will be another one. So governments all over the world, including ours, have to be ready and businesses have to be ready.”

The Scottish Government is expected to publish a new ‘strategic framework’ within weeks, which will outline Scotland’s response to Covid over the coming months and years.

Nicola Sturgeon has indicated that the roadmap will set out how

hospital Government infection

Jason Leitch

www.dailyrecord.co.ukwww.dailyrecord.co.uk

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