While the latest data from Public Health Scotland (PHS) shows a fall in reported infections for the second week in a row, the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 increased to 1,669.
The figures, for the week ending July 10, show that across Scotland reported cases of coronavirus fell by almost 10 per cent.
The data was released as it emerged more than 200,000 people in the UK have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.
The grim milestone comes as infections and hospital admissions are once again on the rise, driven by the coronavirus subvariant Omicron BA.2 – though the number of deaths remains well below levels reached in previous The 200,000 mark was reached on June 25, but has only now been confirmed due to the time it takes for deaths to be registered. Covid-19 deaths have remained low by historic standards during each of this year’s waves, reflecting the success of vaccines in weakening the link between infection and serious illness.
Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said “the vast majority” of the 200,000 deaths “were preventable”, but they occurred because of “a series of policy failures at national level”, including the late implementation of lockdowns in March 2020 and a failure to step up restrictions over Christmas 2020 when the Alpha variant was spreading.
He added: “It’s important to remember that for every death there will be many more hospitalisations, long Covid, and other indirect burdens such as greater impact on other areas of the UK health service and socio-economic consequences such as bereavements and inability to work.
“Recorded Covid-19 deaths are the tip of a very unpleasant and far-reaching iceberg.”
In Scotland, the latest PHS weekly data shows 16,521 cases of coronavirus were reported that week – a drop of 9.5 per cent from the previous week.
While the number of people in hospital with the virus increased, the number of new Covid patients being admitted fell.
New admissions decreased from 1,170 in the week ending July 3 to 990 in the week ending July 10 – a drop of 15.4 per cent.
It is the second week in a row that the total number of reported Covid cases in Scotland has fallen – with 19,063 cases reported in the week ending June 26, falling to 18,248 in the week ending July 3.
Of those cases reported in the week ending July 10, a fifth (20.5%) were reinfections.
The number of patients in hospital with the virus is well below the peak of 2,383 which was recorded on two dates in March and April this year.