Covid Scotland: More people in hospital with Covid than at peak of Omicron wave

More people are currently in hospital with Covid than were recorded at the peak of the Omicron wave in January, new figures have shown.

Some 1,636 people were in hospital on Wednesday with recently-confirmed Covid-19, an increase of 127 on the day before.

This is higher than the peak of the Omicron wave (1,571) recorded on January 19, and is the highest figure recorded since February last year. The all-time high during the pandemic was logged on January 22 last year at 2,053.

The daily number of deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive Covid test has doubled from Wednesday, now standing at 41.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

It is also now equal to the highest point in the Omicron wave, recorded on January 14.

Some 14,387 new cases were reported on Thursday, up from 11,957 the previous day and the highest since January 8.

As of this week, Scottish Government figures for those in hospital with Covid include cases of reinfection with the virus, which accounts for about 10 per cent of cases.

Public Health Scotland has retrospectively included reinfections in figures previously reported.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said on Wednesday that rising Covid-19 infections were “concerning”.

He tweeted: "Recently rising Covid-19 case numbers are concerning and a reminder that Covid is still with us. With a rise in cases we have also seen a steady rise in Covid hospital occupancy. Over the last week there has been a 23 per cent rise (1,509 ppl with Covid in our hospitals).

"Rising numbers in our hospitals and community (which contributes to Covid-related staff absences) all impact our NHS recovery. That is why we have ensured record staffing & investment in our NHS. I am grateful to all of those working tirelessly in NHS & Social Care.

“Important we do not let our guard down & we continue to abide by remaining guidance & regulations that help to keep us safe. Vaccinations have been a game-changer, a reminder it is not too late to get your 1st, 2nd or Booster dose if eligible.”

Weekly hospital admissions with Covid have risen recently, from 768 in the first week of February, to 830 in the week to February 22, and 904 in the week ending March 1.

The majority of admissions in that week were in the over-80s, at 220, but there were also 109 admissions in children under 18.

Figures released by Public Health Scotland in January showed around half of those recorded in the Scottish Government's daily figures as hospitalised within 28 days of a positive Covid test were admitted because of the virus.

Older people were more likely to be admitted “because of” rather than “with” Covid, PHS said.

It comes as the Government began the next phase of its Covid vaccine programme this week amid concerns over waning immunity.

Over-75s, residents of care homes for older people and adults and teenagers who are immunosuppressed will now be invited forward for a second booster jag.

Scotland is set to remove all Covid-19 related legal restrictions on March 21, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings.

This measure will be taken “assuming that there are no significant adverse developments in the course of the virus”, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs last month.

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