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Record Covid-19 cases in Scotland over festive break

By Ewan Malcolm

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A RECORD number of Covid-19 cases have been recorded over the festive period in Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged everyone to get their booster to help ease the pressure on the NHS.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged everyone to get their booster to help ease the pressure on the NHS.

Provisional data has shown 8,252 cases recorded for Christmas Day, 11,030 for Boxing Day and 10,562 for December 27. The figures are the highest recorded in Scotland since the start of the pandemic.

While the figures for each day 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. The actual number of positive Covid-19 cases may be higher.

First Minister Nicola 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.

"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 the NHS.

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

"So even though we are all thoroughly fed up with the impact of Covid on our lives, it is really important that over the new year period we follow guidance to help slow the spread of the virus while we complete the accelerated booster programmes.

"In addition to observing good hand hygiene and wearing face coverings, I am asking everyone to limit contacts as much as possible, to keep any essential indoor gatherings to a maximum of three households, and to get boosted by the bells.

"I know sticking to all of these measures is really hard – especially at this time of year - but there's no doubt whatsoever it will help keep us safer."

Ms Sturgeon is set to make a major Covid-19 announcement on Wednesday as Parliament is recalled with MSPs breaking from their winter recess for an update on the pandemic.

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