Scotland’s largest health board warns covid crisis ‘as serious as it gets’ as cases hit record high

The coronavirus pandemic is still “as serious as it gets”, Scotland’s largest health board warned, as the number of hospital patients with the virus reached a new record high for the third consecutive day.

The latest figures showed that 2,257 people were in hospital on Tuesday with recently confirmed Covid-19, a rise of 36 on the previous day.

Statistics also revealed a further 39 coronavirus-linked deaths and 12,421 new cases in the past 24 hours.

As the figures were published, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde issued a plea to people to stay away from from accident and emergency unless their condition is “very urgent or life threatening”.

With high infection levels and record numbers of hospital cases, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the NHS was facing “its most challenging weeks since the pandemic began”.

Marking the second anniversary of the UK going into lockdown, Mr Yousaf tweeted: “Today marks 2 years since we first went into lockdown. I cannot thank our incredible health and social care staff enough for their heroic efforts over the last two years.

“Those efforts continue as our health service faces its most challenging weeks since the pandemic began.”

Meanwhile, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde deputy medical director, Dr Scott Davidson, said: “It’s two years since the first national lockdown and we’re still very much in the grip of Covid.

“Our hospitals are almost at capacity and our A&Es are extremely busy.

“This is as serious as it gets. Our teams are under significant pressure and we need the public to show support by only attending A&E if your condition is very urgent or life threatening.”

Anyone who attends at hospital should wear a face covering, he added, as “Covid is rife within our communities and we need to protect patients and staff as much as possible”

Dr Davidson thanked NHS staff for their “incredible work” over the last two years “under considerable pressure”.

Praising colleagues he said: “Their commitment to high quality, patient-centred care throughout the health emergency has been second to none.”

Lorna Birse, the chair of NHS Tayside, also paid tribute to staff there for their “amazing achievements”, at the same time as remembering “how difficult and challenging it has been at times, both professionally and personally”.

Ms Birse said: “The commitment and dedication shown by teams across hospitals, community care, GPs and volunteering has been extraordinary.

“The Team Tayside ethos of working together to find new ways of providing care, delivering solutions and innovating, be it through new services or equipment or treatment, has shone through.”

And she added: “It is that determination to adapt and succeed that will see us through as we move towards the next phase of recovery.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Pictured – Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow (c) Jane Barlow / PA.