Another of Scotland's largest health boards has warned its region is "very close" to having to reimpose lockdown restrictions as the country recorded its second highest rise in Covid-19 cases in three months.
NHS Lanarkshire, which serves a population of around 655,000 people, said similar measures to those introduced by Nicola Sturgeon in Glasgow earlier this week could be needed.
Gabe Docherty, the board's director of public health, said an increase of 111 cases in the previous five days should be a "wake-up call" and urged residents to adhere to social distancing guidelines this weekend.
If similar measures were imposed in NHS Lanarkshire, it would mean more than 1.4 million Scots would be living under the restrictions, more than a quarter of the population.
📢 HELP KEEP LANARKSHIRE OUT OF LOCKDOWN 📢— Christina McKelvie (@ChristinaSNP) September 4, 2020
With the recent rise in local cases Lanarkshire may face similar restrictions to those brought in to place in Glasgow and other areas.
If we remember the FACTS we can help control the spread of the virus without any restrictions. pic.twitter.com/TzdnQ8Kazm
The warning from Scotland's third largest health board came as the number of cases across Scotland increased by 159, only one fewer than Monday's total, which was the highest since May 16.
It also represented a sharp rise in the 101 new cases recorded the previous day. The new total included 73 in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The latter is the health board covering Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire, where Ms Sturgeon has imposed a ban on indoor gatherings involving more than one household.
The First Minister said small family gatherings were responsible for the surge in cases in the area, which includes more than 800,000 people and her own home.
No one wants another lockdown. But Lanarkshire is close to facing additional Covid-19 restrictions. Help avoid this happening by following our advice. @nlancouncil @SouthLanCouncil #StickWithitLanarkshire #KeepLanarkshireoutoflockdownhttps://t.co/axB2cQcJKk pic.twitter.com/hJsHqtUXmr— NHS Lanarkshire (@NHSLanarkshire) September 4, 2020
In June Ms Sturgeon said Scotland was "not far away" from eliminating the virus and the following month she claimed it was five times less prevalent in Scotland than England, a boast that prompted an official reprimand from the statistics watchdog for being unsubstantiated.
But she has struck a much more gloomy tone in her press briefings this week, warning the virus is spreading again and the R number in Scotland - the average number of people each carrier infects - was now above one and potentially as high as 1.4. Across the UK, the R number is estimated to be between 0.9 and 1.1.
Prof Linda Bauld, a public health academic at Edinburgh University, told the Telegraph this week that Ms Sturgeon's strategy to "eliminate" the virus was "not going very well" and she had now adopted the same local lockdown tactics used in England and elsewhere.
No one wants another lockdown. But Lanarkshire is close to facing additional Covid-19 restrictions. Help avoid this by following Gabe Docherty’s advice. #StickWithItLanarkshire #KeepLOL #KeepLanarkshireOutOfLockdown pic.twitter.com/lfRQzWQJSM— NHS Lanarkshire (@NHSLanarkshire) September 4, 2020
Mr Docherty said: "No-one wants another lockdown but Lanarkshire is very close to facing additional Covid-19 restrictions similar to those in Glasgow and neighbouring areas.
"Ahead of the weekend, and indeed beyond, we need everyone's help to avoid that happening by following well-publicised advice."
Christina McKelvie, the SNP's Older People and Equalities Minister, tweeted: "HELP KEEP LANARKSHIRE OUT OF LOCKDOWN."