Nicola Sturgeon Warns U.K. Is Sleepwalking Into a Virus Crisis
(Bloomberg) -- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon demanded urgent action from the U.K. government to combat the spread of omicron and warned that hospitals are now at severe risk of being overwhelmed.
The latest Covid-19 variant is expected to become the dominant strain in Scotland tomorrow, less than three weeks since it was first identified in the country. The semi-autonomous government in Edinburgh has tightened some restrictions and recommended reduced contact between households over Christmas. Sturgeon, though, has said would have gone much further if she had more financial support from the Treasury.
“We need the U.K. government to act urgently, in a way that other countries are already doing,” Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, said on Thursday. “We must not sleepwalk into an emergency that, for both health and business, will be much greater as a result of inaction.”
Scotland is responsible for its own health policies and it has often foreshadowed wider moves across the U.K. during the pandemic. Sturgeon has asked to speak to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson later today to call for greater precautions, she said.
In a televised address earlier this week, Sturgeon said Scotland could be facing as many as 15,000 cases of Covid-19 a day due to omicron. That compares to a previous daily record of 7,113 reported in August.
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