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Scottish Covid cases up more than 40% in one week, figures show

The number of coronavirus cases jumped by 42.5% in a week (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)
The number of coronavirus cases jumped by 42.5% in a week (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The number of positive Covid-19 cases in Scotland has risen by more than 40% in a single week, figures show.

Public Health Scotland’s weekly statistical report shows there were 21,914 reported cases of Covid-19 in the week up to July 3, a 42.5% increase from the 15,382 reported in the week before.

There was also an average of 1,450 patients in hospital with Covid-19 during the same week.

The figure is a stark increase from the 1,148 recorded the previous week, a jump of 26.3%.

Up to July 3, the report also found, there were 877 new admissions of patients with Covid-19, which had dropped from 1,062.

In a letter to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton asked for clarity on the future of testing for health and social care staff and on vaccination boosters expected for vulnerable groups in the coming months.

He said: “With Covid cases spiking once more, it seems bizarre for the Health Secretary to be talking about dismantling our defences.

“It seems as if he has learned nothing from the past two years.

Dr Scott Davidson highlighted the significant pressure facing frontline teams (NHSGGC/PA)

“NHS staff and patients will be filled with dread at the prospect of an end to testing.

“What’s more, the Health Secretary’s recent comments seem to contradict the Scottish Government’s testing transition plan published in March which said routine asymptomatic testing of the health and social care workforce would play an ongoing role.”

The figures come as Scotland’s largest health board has seen a surge in Covid cases, with medical staff reporting accident and emergency (A&E) services being “busier than ever”.

Hospitals across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGCC), of which there are 35 of different types, reported on Wednesday that 457 in-patients had tested positive for the virus in the last 28 days.

This figure is a jump from 277 cases reported on June 21.

And the health board, which according to the NHS provides for a population of 1.14 million people, reported its hospital occupancy is currently at 90.6%.

With one in 15 people in Scotland now infected with the virus, senior clinicians, including deputy medical director for acute services for NHSGGC Dr Scott Davidson, have warned members of the public to stay away from A&E unless their condition is very urgent or life-threatening.

“Our staff are working around the clock to make sure we continue to see the sickest patients coming to our A&Es but we’re over capacity,” Dr Davidson said.

“Services, quite frankly, are busier than ever, creating a bottleneck at the front door and, as a result, patients unfortunately are having to wait long periods of time to be treated.”

Patients have been urged to access unscheduled and emergency care through NHS inform, NHS 24 and their GPs and pharmacists instead.

“You might still face a wait to use these services, but for most people you’ll be seen much faster than if you come to A&E,” Dr Davidson said.

NHSGCC said strains on the health service are also down to greater numbers of sicker patients coming to A&E as a result of holding off during the height of previous spikes in cases, and a current high level of staff absence due to Covid.

Dr Davidson added: “It’s absolutely crucial for the public to help us now by really considering how they access urgent care.

“Do you need to come to A&E or could you be better served elsewhere?”

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