Wales ‘likely to see tsunami’ of Omicron case – government adviser

Wales is expected to experience a ‘tsunami of cases’ of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the coming weeks, a prominent doctor has warned.

The claim came from Dr Giri Shankar of Public Health Wales, who also said the new restrictions due after Christmas may not be enough to prevent Covid-19 from once again becoming a burden on the healthcare system.

Restrictions currently in place in Wales include the need to wear masks in certain settings such as public transport and in shops, and the requirement to show Covid passes in cinemas and theaters. However, the Welsh government has issued strong advice to people heading into Christmas, which includes performing regular lateral flow tests, spacing out social events and meetings outside rather than inside. as much as possible.

Read more: Omicron cases reach new high in Wales

New restrictions will take effect from December 27, meaning nightclubs will have to shut down completely and additional security measures will be reinstated for other businesses.

But Dr Shankar said that the fact that the Covid figures in Wales are currently better than those seen in parts of England and Scotland does not mean that a huge jump in cases is not In progress.

“We seem to be a week or two behind what London, most parts of England and Scotland are seeing,” Dr Shankar told the BBC’s Politics Wales program.

“We have to make this work to our advantage, because the higher the coverage with the booster vaccination, the better. “

Dr Shankar is part of the group advising the Welsh government and has said other measures may need to be taken as soon as possible, in addition to those which come into effect from December 27.

“I think we might well see a situation where, despite all these measures and with proper adherence to these measures, we can still find that the number of cases and the load on the system may be such that we might need to. additional restrictions, ”he added. .

When Dr Shankar was told that there were in fact fewer people hospitalized with Covid in Wales than at any time since August, he explained that the Omicron variant was “highly transmissible” and that if the As the number of cases increased dramatically, it was inevitable that a percentage of those affected would require hospital treatment.

“Even this small proportion, in terms of absolute numbers, is enough to tip the scales in the health and care system,” he added.

The Welsh government is due to meet on Monday to discuss additional measures, if any, that need to be put in place.

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