Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hit out at the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for skipping the Covid Cobra meeting, on the day more cash was pledged to combat the Omicron ‘tsunami’.
New coronavirus measures before Christmas have not been ruled out by the Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who said there are “no guarantees” following a “sobering analysis” from scientific advisers warning about the threat from Omicron.
Ms Sturgeon added: “As infections soar and businesses suffer, we still need much more urgency in action/support from UK Gov – so that devolved gov hands are not tied.
“To that end, it was disappointing and frustrating that neither the PM nor the Chancellor attended this evening’s COBRA (Covid meeting).”
There has been no further government comment of a potential lockdown before the end of 2021.
Modelling from scientific advisers, published on Saturday, showed that if ministers stuck to the current Plan B measures, there could be a peak of 3,000 hospital admissions in England per day.
Advisers also said hospital admissions with the variant in the UK are “probably around one tenth of the true number” due to a lag in reporting.
Despite the ramping-up of the booster programme, experts said it would not help in terms of hospitals admissions in the near future, as many would be people who are infected now before immunity has had time to build.