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‘We must not underestimate Omicron’: Four highest daily Covid totals in Scotland reported in last four days

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Photo: Steve Brown/DCT Media

More than 9,300 new Covid cases have been announced in Scotland amid a surge in positive test results driven by the Omicron variant over the Christmas period.

The Scottish Government announced 30,117 cases between December 25 and 27 – including the three highest daily totals through the whole pandemic.

Now 9,360 have been reported on December 28 amid warnings numbers are expected to rise further in coming days.

Cases had never topped 8,000 per day before Christmas.

Lag in reporting over Christmas

The cases reported so far by the Scottish Government remain provisional data with full reporting not expected to resume again until December 29.

Warnings have been issued that the longer turnaround for results at the moment due to laboratory capacities means the actual number of cases “may be higher”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned the early data shows the expected “steep increase” driven by the Omicron variant across Scotland during the Christmas period is now materialising.

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has warned the peak of the current wave may not come until late January.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We would expect to see case numbers rise further in the days ahead – though it is worth bearing in mind that they are likely to have been even higher but for the compliance of the public with the guidance issued in the run up to Christmas.

These figures underline how important it is that we don’t underestimate the impact of Omicron – even if the rate of hospitalisation associated with it is much lower than past strains of the virus, case numbers this high will still put an inevitable further strain on NHS.

  • December 25 – 8,252 cases
  • December 26 – 11,030 cases
  • December 27 – 10,562 cases
  • December 28 – 9,360 cases

“This level of infection will also cause a significant and severely disruptive level of sickness absence across the economy and critical services.”

The Christmas period has also meant it is not possible to confirm how many deaths following Covid diagnoses there have been in Scotland due to registrar offices being closed.

The same delay in data is due after Hogmanay with catch-up data not due to be published until January 5.

‘Boosted by the bells’

Vaccination clinics reopened again on December 27 to administer booster jabs.

Most are also due to be open on Hogmanay before closing on January 1 and 2 before reopening again on January 3.

Vaccination clinics are open again in the run-up to Hogmanay. Photo: Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media

Scots have been urged to continue to abide by current Covid restrictions and advice to ensure case numbers do not rise further.

Ms Sturgeon added: “I know it is hard, but it is really important people continue to comply with the guidance over the New Year period.

“We must not underestimate the impact of Omicron.

“Even if the rate of hospitalisation associated with it is lower than past strains of the virus, case numbers this high will still put an inevitable further strain on the NHS, and create significant levels of disruption due to sickness absence across the economy and critical services.”

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