Covid-19: Highest surge since May with 350 new cases

Media caption,
Covid in Scotland: Hospitality curfews and travel curbs 'likely options'

A further 350 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Scotland, the highest daily increase since May.

According to Scottish government figures, a further three people who tested positive for the virus have died.

Sixty four people were in hospital on Friday - nine in intensive care.

The figures bring the cumulative number of Covid-19 confirmed deaths in Scotland to 2,505 since the outbreak began.

However going by monthly data from the National Records of Scotland, there have been 4,236 deaths where the virus is mentioned on a death certificate.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde recorded 116 new cases, the highest increase among Scotland's health boards.

Image source, Getty Images

Scotland's national clinical director Jason Leitch told BBC Scotland that recent trends would trigger an examination of what the government restricts "regionally and nationally".

He said the nature of the spread of the virus meant "the dashboard is flashing amber" and that advice given to the Scottish government would now start to change.

"We're not in a position where national stay at home measures are the order of the day," he said."What we know is the principal risk is household mixing.

"Anything that restricts household mixing is attractive to the public health people.

"That gets you into hospitality territory, household gathering territory - all those things you've seen us think about previously particularly around the seven local authorities in the west that are under heavier restrictions."

The latest figures were announced after the first minister warned that tighter restrictions could be issued to combat a rise in cases.

Daily Covid cases have steadily risen throughout September, however the 350 new cases show a marked jump compared with Friday's 203.

Nicola Sturgeon said "greater restrictions" might be needed to "interrupt" the spread of the virus, while preventing a full-scale lockdown.

Linda Bauld, professor of public health at Edinburgh University, told BBC Scotland: "The priority for the Scottish government and most people is keeping the schools open, keeping education going.

"If we don't want to see many more people going into hospital, we are going to have to pause other parts of the economy."

'Almost inevitable'

She added: "Closures will be a last resort - the more restrictive lockdowns - and things like curfews may be an intermediate step but i think it's almost inevitable.

"The other thing i would anticipate in terms of the ongoing restrictions in meeting in each other's homes is we may see travel restrictions applied within the country, because obviously we don't want one area with higher cases to affect a neighbouring area."

Restrictions on people visiting other households were reintroduced in Glasgow city, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire on 2 September after concerns about the number of cases.

Earlier this week, the Scottish government paused the next set of changes to lockdown rules and toughened other measures.