Coronavirus cases are rising across every age group and are active in all regions of mainland Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
The first minister said around a third of the 806 new cases registered overnight into Tuesday – by far the highest number ever recorded in a single day during the pandemic – were in the over-40s age group.
The “bulk” of the new positive tests was carried out on people under 25 years old, many of whom had recently returned to university, taking the rate of confirmed cases among those newly tested to 11.5%.
Ms Sturgeon warned the younger demographic must not give rise to complacency because young people can become seriously unwell from the virus and while the risk of dying is lower for these ages, it is not “non-existent”.
She said: “While we are seeing a significant number of cases in younger age groups, which is a phenomenon that we’ve seen across Europe in this latest surge of Covid, it is the case that transmission amongst older ages groups is also rising and let’s not pretend that that is not the case.
“Around a third of today’s cases are actually in the over-40 age group and there are a number in the over-60 age group, so transmission is rising across the spectrum of age ranges.”
Ms Sturgeon insisted that to guard against transmission, people with symptoms must immediately self-isolate and book a test.
She said 28,604 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 27,798 on Monday, with 302 cases recorded in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, 180 in Lothian, 91 in Lanarkshire and 54 in Grampian.
The first minister said the daily figure of new cases included “quite a high number of results” from samples taken on Friday and Saturday which may otherwise have been expected to be reported on Monday.
No new deaths of patients who first tested positive for the virus in the previous 28 days were recorded, with this total remaining at 2,511.
There were 123 people in hospital with confirmed cases of Covid-19, up by one in 24 hours. Of these patients, 14 were in intensive care, down by two.
A dreadful milestone
Ms Sturgeon confirmed the virus was now “active” in every region of mainland Scotland, with Shetland – which has had a positive case over the past week – the only area in the country with no active cases.
It came as the world reached an “agonising milestone” in the pandemic, with the number of deaths recorded globally since the first Covid-19 death in Wuhan, China, nine months ago, reaching one million.
National clinical director Jason Leitch said, across the world, countries are struggling with an “accelerating global pandemic” and there is “no rulebook on how to deal with this, there isn’t a folder you can take from the shelf”.
Professor Leitch said: “To mark this grim milestone of a million deaths, the director general of the World Health Organisation released a statement and described it as a ‘difficult moment for the world’.
“But he also had hope at the end of his statement. He said no matter where a country is in its outlook, it is never too late to turn it around.”