Covid in Scotland: Where are the latest cases?

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There have been 334,141 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Scotland and 7,820 people have died following a positive test for the virus, according to the Scottish government.

This page analyses the key figures for the coronavirus outbreak in Scotland and was last updated using figures available at 14:00 on 21 July.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19

There have been 12,939 cases detected over the past seven days, with 1,686 cases confirmed on Tuesday.

The following chart shows the number of daily confirmed cases after an NHS Scotland or UK government test since 1 September, along with a seven-day average.

The actual number of people infected during the course of the outbreak will be far higher than the overall confirmed cases figure, as many people who have Covid-19 are not tested.

This next chart shows how the weekly total of cases has been changing in Scotland over the last few weeks.

How many cases are there in my area?

The number of positive cases in each local authority is published daily by Public Health Scotland.

Recent data often underestimates the number of positive tests as there are sometimes delays before results are recorded, so this chart uses figures from three days ago.

The rate is calculated by adding up all the cases over the previous seven days and then dividing by the population of the local authority. This number is then multiplied by 100,000.

The Scottish government also publishes figures on the number of cases across Scotland’s 14 health boards.

How is the share of positive tests changing?

The World Health Organization highlights the percentage of positive test results as a key indicator when assessing the status of a Covid-19 outbreak within a country.

Its guidance says a weekly positivity rate which is kept below 2% is one indication that community transmission of Covid-19 is at low levels.

Other indicators include the number of cases, Covid-related deaths and hospital admissions per 100,000 people.

The Scottish government measures the positivity rate by dividing the number of positive tests per day by the total number of tests carried out.

The vaccination programme

Currently the Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are being given in Scotland, with each requiring two doses.

Some younger people have already had the vaccine because they have been prioritised as health or social care workers, or because they have a condition which makes them particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.

The Scottish government’s aim is to offer a first dose of the vaccine to everyone in Scotland aged 18 or over by the end of July.

Deaths from Covid-19

The spring outbreak peaked in mid-April 2020 and then mainly declined until the summer, when Scotland went for a long period when there were no deaths following a positive test for Covid-19.

The rate of new deaths rose again in the autumn as the second wave of the pandemic took hold, finally peaking at the end of January 2021.

The chart below shows data relating to the actual date of death, rather than registration of deaths, so the most recent figures are subject to revision.

There are three ways to count deaths from Covid-19.

The Scottish government’s daily announcement counts deaths within 28 days of a positive test for Covid-19, whereas the National Records of Scotland (NRS) counts all death certificates that mention Covid-19, even if the person has not been tested for the virus.

The NRS also publishes monthly data on excess deaths, compared with a five-year average.

How many people are in hospital?

The coronavirus pandemic has created a huge load on Scotland’s hospitals.

At the peak of the outbreak in spring 2020 there were more than 1,500 Covid patients in hospital, including over 200 in intensive care wards.

Numbers reduced over the summer, but started to rise steadily again in September. In January 2021, the number of Covid patients in hospital passed the spring 2020 peak of 1,520.

Only patients who test positive during their current stay in hospital, or in the two weeks before their admission, are counted by the Scottish government as Covid-19 patients.

They are no longer classified as Covid patients after 28 days in hospital or 28 days after their positive test, whichever is later.

However, the Scottish government now publishes figures on Covid-19 patients who have been treated in intensive care for more than 28 days.

What is the estimated R number in Scotland?

The R number, or reproduction number, is a way of rating a disease’s ability to spread. It is the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to.

If the reproduction number is higher than one, then the number of cases increases exponentially.

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One thought on “Covid in Scotland: Where are the latest cases?

  • July 28, 2021 at 2:34 pm
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