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Covid hospital admissions in Scotland exceed last winter



Covid hospital admissions in Scotland exceed last winter

Getty Images Testing for covid - genericGetty Images

Figures for Covid-19 levels are based on tests taken on people within the healthcare system

The number of Covid cases requiring hospital treatment in Scotland has surpassed last winter’s levels.

According to a Public Health Scotland report, 443 people with the virus were in hospital having been admitted because of acute symptoms in the week ending 30 June.

This was a slight increase on the previous week’s 418 patients, but numbers have been rising rapidly throughout June and have exceeded the winter peak of 388.

Overall there were 1,153 cases of Covid-19 detected in the country last week, the equivalent of 21 people per 100,000.

Shetland was the only NHS Scottish health board that did not have inpatients with Covid-19.

Need for ‘more data’

Public Health Scotland has returned to publishing its Covid reports weekly “amid rising Covid-19 trends”, having been produced monthly while infection levels were lower.

Data for Covid is no longer collected in the way it was during the height of the pandemic as far less testing takes place now.

That means many cases of Covid are not being recorded in the general population.

Figures are now based on laboratory tests taken across the country, mostly swabs taken from people in the healthcare system.

In recent months, we have seen a new group of variants of Covid emerge, collectively nicknamed as FLiRT.

They are descended from the dominant JN.1 variant, which is itself a sub-variant of the Omicron strain of Covid.

The KP3 variant, which has driven a rise in cases in the US, has also been identified in the UK in small numbers.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it needed “more data” on the new variants to understand how severe and transmissible they might be.

There are no Covid-19 rules or restrictions in Scotland, but people are advised to try to stay at home if they have symptoms and wear a well-fitting face covering if they do have to go out.

The vaccine programme has been scaled back since the initial rollouts early in the pandemic.

Now, only certain people are entitled to jabs under seasonal booster programmes.

They are:

  • Aged 75 or over
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • Adults who live in care homes
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