Scotland rise in Covid cases ‘in part’ due to school return, says Sturgeon

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Scotland rise in Covid cases ‘in part’ due to school return, says Sturgeon
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Scotland is facing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases “in part” because of children returning to schools, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

The First Minister told a coronavirus briefing that 6,835 new cases had been reported in the past 24 hours – the second time in a week that a record, new, daily figure has been reported.

The number of coronavirus patients in Scotland also continues to rise, with 479 people in hospital on Thursday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up 53 on the previous day and an increase from 312 one week ago.

A total of four deaths of coronavirus patients were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic to 8,103.

Ms Sturgeon said the rise in case numbers was due to more people taking tests and children returning to school after the summer break.

“In the past seven days we have reported more new cases than at any previous time in the pandemic, although I refer back to my point about higher levels of testing, but case numbers have roughly doubled over the course of the past seven days,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“It’s important to point out that case numbers are rising across the UK just now, but after a period of slower increases in Scotland the rise here is particularly sharp at the moment.

“That is possibly, at least in part, a reflection of the fact that our schools return earlier, with the increased interactions that come with that.”

Scotland is “not currently considering a circuit-breaker lockdown” despite a record number of new Covid cases and a steep rise in patients in hospital with the virus, Ms Sturgeon added.

She also said the vaccination programme had “significantly weakened” but not “completely broken” the link between cases and serious illness.

“For the moment I do need to stress the vital importance of everyone playing their part in limiting spread of the virus. The more we all do this, the more chance we have of avoiding the need for the re-imposition of any formal restrictions,” she said.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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