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NHS Highland region reports 450 new positive tests for Covid-19 in the five days since the Hogmanay update; the rise came as Scotland detected more than 11,000 fresh cases over the same time period

By Philip Murray

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Coronavirus stock
Coronavirus stock

NO fewer than 450 positive tests for Covid-19 were recorded across the NHS Highland area over the long New Year weekend.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases in the health board area stood at 2622 when the latest daily update was published at 2pm today.

It was the first update for the NHS Highland figures since Hogmanay – when the region’s total stood at 2172.

In the five days since then, there have been exactly 450 newly-confirmed cases, with the biggest daily increase being reported on New Year’s Day, when 142 positive tests were received.

This was followed by increases of 34 on January 2, 94 on January 3, 90 yesterday and a further 90 when Tuesday’s update was released.

Across Scotland there were a further 2529 positive tests for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. Although that figure was up several hundred from yesterday’s update of 1905, the proportion of positive tests was roughly the same as on Monday – with 14.8 per cent of all tests recorded coming back positive, compared to 15 per cent the day before.

Some 1347 people were receiving treatment in Scottish hospitals last night – up 255 on the same point a week ago.

Of those, 93 required intensive care. This was up 28 from last week.

Sadly, 11 further deaths have been recorded among people who people previously tested positive.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the north of Scotland, there were 11 new cases in NHS Eileanan Siar in the five days since the last update. It has now recorded 107 positive tests overall. NHS Shetland detected 23 fresh infections over the same five day period, for a cumulative tally of 151.

But in better news, NHS Orkney has not detected a single new case since Boxing Day’s update.

NHS Grampian, meanwhile recorded more than 1100 fresh Covid-19 infections since Hogmanay. It’s cumulative total stood at 8971 when Tuesday’s update was published – up 1111 from the 7870 on Hogmanay.

And NHS Tayside recorded 884 new positive tests – taking its running tally from 8300 to 9184 since January 31.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been 139,027 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Scotland, although experts believe the true figure could be much higher. That figure was up from 127,453 on Hogmanay.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned the public that the much more contagious new strain of the virus is believed to be responsible for 50 per cent of all new infections currently being reported across Scotland – and rising.

Although it is not thought to be any more severe than existing strains, its higher level of contagiousness is posing a major concern, amid fears it is rapidly becoming the dominant strain in the country.

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