Covid cases reach record high in Scotland over festive period

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Covid Cases Reach Record High In Scotland Over Festive Period Covid Cases Reach Record High In Scotland Over Festive Period
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said she expects case numbers to rise further over the next few days. Photo: PA
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By Katharine Hay, PA Scotland

The Christmas period has seen the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Scotland since the start of the pandemic, according to provisional data released by the Scottish government.

On December 25th, 8,252 cases were recorded, with 11,030 positive tests recorded on December 26th and 10,562 on December 27th.

These record numbers are the highest daily totals in the country since coronavirus cases were first recorded in Scotland in March 2020.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said she expects case numbers will rise further over the next few days and urged people to limit socialising in person “as much as possible”.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon is urging people in Scotland to limit their socialising in-person ‘as much as possible’ over the festive period. Photo: Fraser Bremner/Daily Mail

While the data for the three days covers tests reported in the preceding 24-hour period, the lag in reporting means that the majority of these cases will relate to tests done before the Christmas break.

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With the longer turnaround time for test results, this could mean the actual number of positive Covid-19 cases is higher, the Scottish Government said.

Ms Sturgeon said: “While these figures are provisional, the steep increase in cases we have been expecting is now materialising, and this reflects the significantly increased transmissibility of Omicron.

“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.”

The first minister said while the rate of hospital admissions associated with Omicron is much lower than previous strains, the rising cases will “still put inevitable further strain on the NHS”.

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

Ms Sturgeon urged Scots to keep “essential” indoor gatherings to a maximum of three households over the festive period and encouraged those who have not received their Covid booster to get jagged by the bells.

The latest Scottish government figures show 73.5 per cent of eligible adults aged 18 and above in Scotland have received their booster or third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

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Scotland’s health secretary Humza Yousaf urged people who have not had it to come forward for their booster dose.

He said: “If you haven’t yet had your Covid booster, there is bound to be a vaccination clinic or drop-in centre near to you.

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“Please have a look on the online portal to book an appointment, or check your local NHS board’s social media channels to find out where the vaccine is being offered, so you can join the thousands of others who have been boosted by the bells.

“If you’ve yet to have your first or second dose, it still isn’t too late for that either.

“Our vaccination teams are waiting for you, so please come along. The sooner you have your first dose, the sooner you can then get your second, and then your booster, for the extra protection that gives.”

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