Steep drop in hospital cases of Covid-19 in Scotland as definition changed

Scotland is now reporting hospitalisations due to Covid-19 in line with England

The number of people in hospital deemed to be Covid-19 patients has dropped due to a change in definition

The number of patients in hospitals battling Covid-19 has seen a steep drop due to a change in definition on how the Scottish Government reports the figure.

Following around two weeks of reviewing the figure, Nicola Sturgeon said the decision had been made to bring Scotland in line with England as to how they count the number of people in hospital with the virus.

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The previous definition, which would have seen 262 people recorded as being in hospital with coronavirus, covered anyone who had ever tested positive for the virus while in hospital and who was still being treated, potentially after recovering from Covid-19, for any condition.

The new definition, also in place in England, is for patients to be considered Covid-19 patients if they received a positive test in the two weeks prior to admission or on the day of admission.

They will also no longer be considered Covid-19 patients if they are in hospital for longer than 28 days or 28 days after their first positive test, whichever is later.

This meant a steep drop in the total number of patients in hospital considered to be Covid-19 patients to 48.

Nicola Sturgeon said the new measure would be a more accurate way of judging the number of people in hospital and added it would help the Scottish Government notice changes in hospitalisation rates sooner.

She said: “That old measure was providing accurate information at the peak the epidemic of this first phase back in the year when there were 1,500 Covid patients in hospital.

"But as the pandemic has progressed, we have been reporting a higher number of hospital cases than is probably justified

“Overall, this new measure will give us a better picture both of the current situation in hospitals, and crucially, given the phase of the pandemic we are going into, it will be more sensitive to the changes in hospital admissions caused by new cases.

“It will enable us to more accurately reflect and report any increase in hospital admissions over the next period.”

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