Covid Scotland: Health Secretary Humza Yousaf warns that further restrictions are 'inevitable' due to the likely 'tsunami' of Omicron cases
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said that further Covid measures are “inevitable”, as he addressed the rise in cases of the Omicron variant.
Speaking on Good Morning Scotland today, Mr Yousaf said: “I think it is inevitable that we will announce additional protective measures”.
The Health Secretary did not go into detail on the planned measures, as he said that the details were currently being worked out.
He said that the First Minister planned to update her cabinet and Parliament on Tuesday morning, before making an announcement to the public later in the day.
Mr Yousaf defended the Scottish Government’s decision to take preventative measures, and said: "We’ve got to do everything we can to protect the NHS.
“There’s no point waiting until the tsunami hits you. If you know the tsunami is coming, you’ve got to take preventative action".
The Health Secretary also discussed the booster vaccine roll-out, which has been sped up in an attempt to deal with the surge in Omicron cases.
Yesterday, the Scottish Government set a new target to offer booster jabs to all eligible adults by the end of the year.
Mr Yousaf said that meeting this goal was going to be “extremely challenging”.
Speaking about the impact on the health service of speeding up the vaccine booster rollout, Mr Yousaf said: "We're going to have to strain every sinew that we possibly can in order to ensure we meet (the target).
"That includes potentially having to move NHS staff away from other core duties to do this."
He added that there needs to be a "huge increase" in the number of daily doses being administered from the current level of approximately 40,000 to an estimated 70,000 per day.
Presenter Gary Robertson asked the Health Secretary whether moving staff could lead to routine procedures and elective operations being postponed, to which Mr Yousaf replied: “Potentially, and that’s not something we would think about doing lightly”.
The Health Secretary also said that the Scottish Government had asked for further military support from the UK Government.
Mr Yousaf also said the Scottish Government wanted "as much support from the Treasury" as possible after warning "already there has been an impact on businesses through some of the advice that has been issued".