‘Significant wave of Omicron to hit Wales by end of January’ says Health Minister
Wales’ Health Minister has said that a significant wave of Omicron will hit Wales very quickly with a peak at the end of January.
Eluned Morgan said that Omicron would quickly overtake Delta as the dominant form and that is why they were attempting to ensure that as many people had a booster shot as soon as possible.
She said that statistics in South Africa now showed that the number in hospitals had increased five times over in two weeks.
“We are expecting a significant wave of Omicron will hit Wales by the end of January,” Eluned Morgan said. “It will quickly overtake Delta as the dominant form.
“What we don’t know is how sick this variant will make you. That is why we are rolling out boosters are quickly as possible.”
Describing the booster roll out as a “herculean task” she said that there was “no time to waste” and “time is not on our side on this one.”
“We need the public to come with us. We need you to step up and come forward when called. When you’re called please answer that call.
“Christmas is a time when people get together. Take a lateral flow test – flow before you go.”
Wales’ Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gill Richardson said that the variant was “very concerning” as its rise had been “extremely rapid”.
“This variant may sidestep natural immunity that has been achieved through infection, but we do not have any evidence to support that it sidesteps the vaccine,” she said.
“If people have not had any vaccine they really are the most at risk. If they can get to a place of being fully immunised and having a booster they will have the best protection.
“The advice in the meantime is to be sensible and cautious. Don’t go out if feeling unwell. Make sure you get tested. Take Lateral Flow Tests before visiting elderly relatives or anyone vulnerable.”
The Welsh Government announced earlier that people would continue to be called in priority order of age and vulnerability.
The Health Minister added: “Please wait until you are invited for your booster and prioritise your appointment over everything else to support the hard-working staff and volunteers at our vaccination centres, who will be spending a second festive period helping to keep Wales safe.
“With high levels of the Delta variant in the community and the emergence of the Omicron variant, you can continue to disrupt the transmission of the virus by wearing a face-covering in indoor public places, getting tested, self-isolating when positive and getting vaccinated.”
More than 80% of people aged 65 and over have had their booster vaccination.