Scottish Labour has called on the SNP to “get a grip on hospital safety” as cases of hospital-onset Covid reached a seven-month high.
Latest Public Health Scotland data showed an increase in cases classed as “definite hospital onset”, where the first positive specimen date was 15 or more days after admission.
They rose from 37 cases in the week ending September 19 to 63 in the week ending September 26, taking levels to their highest point since mid-February.
In the week ending February 14, a total of 137 cases were reported as definite hospital onset, up from 109 the previous week.
In addition to the 63 definite cases in the week ending September 26, there were a further 36 “probable” cases of hospital-onset Covid while 34 were classed as “indeterminate” hospital onset.
Scottish Labour are calling on the SNP to do more to keep hospitals safe and ensure staff can get their booster vaccines.
The party’s health and Covid recovery spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: “It is disgraceful that so many people going into hospital for help to get better are then exposed to a life-threatening virus.
“Things are now the worst that they have been since the early days of the vaccine programme.
“This is yet another sign of the immense pressure services are under.
“NHS staff are working tirelessly to keep hospitals running and keep patients safe, but they are being badly let down.
“It’s sheer complacency from the SNP that has let us get to this point.
“This spike in cases must be a wake-up call for them to get a grip on hospital safety.
“The SNP must act with the urgency needed to roll out the booster programme and make sure hospitals have everything they need to keep patients and staff safe.”
According to latest data from Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland, 4095 cases of definite hospital onset Covid-19 were recorded between the week ending March 1 2020 and the week ending September 26 2021, accounting for 0.7% of cases.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Ensuring people are able to access safe and effective care while in hospital is our top priority – and rigorous Covid-19 protocols are in place.
“Since the start of the pandemic, health boards have worked hard to ensure that infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in hospital and other care settings are robust, with measures including risk-assessed patient care pathways, the appropriate use of PPE, extended use of face masks and coverings, physical distancing and outbreak management.
“As patients with Covid-19 continue to be admitted to hospitals, the risk of hospital transmission remains. We are testing more patients in hospital which enables us to identify more asymptomatic positive cases.
“This ensures that we can provide the right care and treatment for patients whilst utilising enhanced infection prevention and control measures to reduce the opportunity for further transmission.
“Since September 21, frontline health and social care workers have been able to book their booster appointment online through NHS Inform.”
Meanwhile, the latest data shows that Scotland has recorded 2,240 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.
The figures, published by the Scottish Government on Monday afternoon, indicate that no Covid-linked deaths were recorded in the period, although registry offices are generally closed at the weekend.
It means the death toll under this daily measure, of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, remains at 9,052.
The daily test positivity rate was 10.3%, up from 9.9% the previous day.
There were 902 people in hospital on Sunday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up three in 24 hours, with 57 in intensive care, down one.
So far, 4,308,371 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,895,239 have received a second dose.