Nicola Sturgeon warned the Irish Taoiseach the Delta variant will “rip through an unvaccinated population” during a phone call, he claims.
Micheál Martin, the country’s Prime Minister, made the revelation while addressing the Irish Parliament over the country’s postponement of indoor hospitality on Wednesday.
He said that during a phone call on Tuesday, the first minister told him the Delta variant will “rip through an unvaccinated population”.
Mr Martin’s remarks comes just a day after Ms Sturgeon gave a Covid-19 briefing in which she said there are no plans to reintroduce restrictions or abandon moved to ease those already in place.
However, she stressed the country faces a “critical moment” and now is the time to “keep the heid”.
Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative health spokeswoman, said “if these comments were made by the First Minister, then this sort of language is extremely unhelpful”.
‘All their eggs are in the vaccination basket’
Speaking to the Irish Parliament, Mr Martin said: “I spoke yesterday with Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland.
“She used a very telling phrase. She said Delta will rip through an unvaccinated population.
“All their eggs are in the vaccination basket. They are 60% vaccinated and there are some hopeful signs that there may be a breaking of the link between case numbers and hospitalisations, but that is not certain yet and will take more monitoring.”
Ms Wells called for “clear and consistent public health messaging” from the Scottish Government.
She said: “Only yesterday she was telling people not to panic over the rising number of cases, due to the success of the vaccination scheme, but is now apparently using phrases such as ripping through.
“As we continue to fight the pandemic, clear and consistent public health messaging is critical for the First Minister and other SNP ministers to continue to retain trust among the public as well as being upfront about the true state of the virus in Scotland.”
Almost 4,000 coronavirus cases were recorded across Scotland in the last 24 hours – a record high.
1/ Today’s reported Covid figures show a further increase – however, the vaccination impact is still clear. Vaccines are now doing much of the work we needed heavy restrictions to do in the last wave. And thankfully, we continue to see a much lower burden of serious illness… https://t.co/OmKnIdre5m
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) June 30, 2021
There were 3,887 cases reported on Wednesday, up from 3,118 on Tuesday.
A total of 235 people are in hospital, an increase of 20, and 19 people were in intensive care with recently confirmed Covid-19.
Two deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours.
It comes on the same day a new report from Public Health Scotland (PHS) revealed almost 2,000 people with lab-confirmed Covid-19 attended at least one event marking Scotland’s Euros campaign while infectious with the disease.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The first minister has regularly publicly stressed the vital importance of vaccination in suppressing the virus and getting back to normality, including in media briefings, most recently earlier this week.”