Covid Scotland: 'Through worst of pandemic' says Humza Yousaf as Covid hospital admissions drop
Humza Yousaf’s comments come after the number of patients in intensive care across Scotland are down to their lowest since July.
The number of people in hospital is also under 1,000 for the first time in a month, Mr Yousaf noted.
As of Saturday, 24 people were in intensive care and 958 people were in hospital with recently confirmed Covid.
Speaking to BBC's Good Morning Scotland on Monday, Mr Yousaf said: "I think we’re through the worst of it.
"The last few weeks of December, the first couple of weeks of January – that kind of five to six week period – was probably the worst period and most intense pressure it has come under in its 73 year period of existence.
"While we’re through the worst of it, we should still say there is significant pressure on the health service and that pressure comes from the continued number of Covid patients.
"It also comes from the accumulative impact of a pandemic and having to catch up with that significant backlog.”
A total of 1,666 people were delayed in hospital as at February 2.
Asked if the response to the pandemic could be adapted to deal with the backlog of treatments for cancer patients, Mr Yousaf said: “Cancer recovery has always been a top priority.
"When it comes to any other tough decisions we’ve had to make, the pausing of cancer screening at the beginning of the pandemic was probably the toughest.”
Mr Yousaf said that waiting targets for cancer screenings are being met with the other targets being met ‘in the middle of a pandemic’.
Mr Yousaf also added that ‘if we can control Covid then the need for infection prevention control measures lessens’.
On Sunday, 5,593 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Scotland, according to data published by the Scottish Government which includes cases using either a first LFD (lateral flow device) or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) positive tests.
Sadly, there were two new reported deaths of people who have tested positive with the virus.
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