A health board in Scotland has warned it could declare a major incident next week as Covid case numbers continue to rise sharply.
Members of the military have already been drafted in to some areas to support NHS workers as the Omicron variant fuels Covid infection levels to record highs.
In a briefing to staff, NHS Grampian said that due to “an exponential growth” of cases in the last fortnight, it could declare a “major incident” as early as next week.
It said: “Based on our modelling data, we anticipate a continued and significant growth in the levels of the disease placing even more significant pressure on care homes, primary care teams, community teams and hospitals.
“Our planned response will include a declaration of a major incident when a number of key trigger points are reached.
“Looking at our local data, these triggers could be met as early as the end of next week.”
The document went on to explain staff will be briefed further with a major incident plan if the announcement goes ahead next week.
Military personnel began arriving to support NHS staff in NHS Grampian, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and NHS Lanarkshire on Friday.
It is understood Grampian will have 38 service personnel for four weeks, while 32 will work in Lanarkshire for the same period, and 20 in Ayrshire in Arran for the next six weeks.
The personnel have joined 221 members of the Armed Forces who have been supporting the vaccine programme across Scotland, with 96 driving ambulances in support of the Scottish Ambulance service.