Covid Scotland: Jason Leitch ‘not panicking’ over rising Covid case numbers

One of Scotland’s top clinicians has said he is “not panicking” about an increase Covid-19 case numbers.

Cases began to creep up in the latter part of last week, rising from 7,497 on Tuesday to 9,551 on Friday.

From March 1, re-infections were included in Scottish Government reported figures, causing an artificial spike in case numbers.

The number of people in hospital has also risen steadily in the past month, from 868 on February 12 to 1,267 on Friday.

The number of people in hospital has also risen steadily in the past month, from 868 on February 12 to 1,267 on Friday.

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Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch said there was no reason to “panic” over the figures.

“I’m not panicking – I’m not thinking we should suddenly go back to restrictions or protections, but I am concerned,” he said.

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“As we mix more, the virus gets more opportunities, so we’ve got 10,000 cases a day, we’ve had a little bit of an increase in those in hospital – it’s not huge, so people shouldn’t panic, but this disease is not over and it’s not done with us.”

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Prof Leitch stressed the importance of vaccine uptake to allow for the continued suppression of the virus.

“You should still be cautious, particularly around those who are vulnerable,” he said.

“So get your vaccine, particularly if you’re getting a letter now if you’re in one of these elderly groups, or vulnerable groups.

“Test – because that testing is still available – and follow the guidance.”

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His comments come as children aged between five and 11 are being invited for their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, along with second booster jags for the elderly and most vulnerable.

For the younger age group, the national clinical director said information was already available for parents worried about vaccinating their children, but there would also be “people available to talk through with parents and carers, aunts and uncles, whoever look after the young people and, crucially, the young people themselves” about possible side-effects or other impacts of the vaccine.

Scotland recorded 8,656 new cases of Covid-19, but no deaths in the 24 hours to Monday.

It means the number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 remains at 10,869.

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