Covid Scotland: Record number of hospitalized patients as restrictions ease

Some 2,128 people were reported to hospital with Covid on Monday, beating the previous record of 2,053 set in January 2022.

Several health boards said they were facing higher pressure than at any other time during the pandemic, due to high numbers of Covid patients, delayed discharges and high staff absence rates.

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It comes as all legal Covid restrictions, except the wearing of face coverings, were eased in Scotland from Monday.

Pictured: Lisa Ferguson.

Businesses such as bars and restaurants are no longer required to keep customer contact details, and the legal obligation for businesses, places of worship and the like to “take reasonably practicable steps” has also ended.

Infection levels in Scotland are thought to be at an all-time high.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) infections survey, one in 14 people contracted the virus in the week to March 12, the highest level of infection since the start of the survey in the fall of 2020.

A total of 376,300 people would be infected, compared to 299,900, or one in 18, the previous week.

Some 9,533 new cases were reported on Monday, while no new deaths were reported, noting that registration offices are usually closed on weekends.

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Covid Scotland: New record as one in 14 people has the virus and hospitalizations n…

James Naismith, professor of structural biology at the University of Oxford, said in response to the ONS survey that the prevalence of Covid in Scotland is “quite remarkable”, and speaks to the infectiousness of the sub- Omicron BA.2 variant.

He added that he expects “nearly everyone susceptible” in the UK will be infected, and the differences between protective measures in Scotland and England are “meaningless”.

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