According to the Scottish newspaper, Scotland has become the “COVID capital” of Europe, with five out of ten of the areas with the highest infection rates.
Citing the World Health Organization, The Scotsman reported that Tayside has the highest rate of COVID cases in Europe with 677 cases. Lothian follows with 570 COVID cases. Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Fife and Lanarkshire are also among the top ten areas with the highest infection rates. The reasons for Scotland’s high rates of COVID infection are not known for sure, but it is likely a number of factors. The first factor is easing COVID-19 restrictions as cases rise, according to the Scottish newspaper.
The other factor includes the current wave powered by the delta variant of COVID, which was first identified in India. This was sown in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, and so quickly spread to the rest of the country, The Scotsman reported. Cases began to rise across Scotland a few weeks after the Glasgow variant became a concern.
It was further reported that the third factor is now widely accepted that the mixing related to the 2020 European Championships increased COVID cases. Almost 2,000 people who tested positive for COVID in June had attended a Euro 2020 event – including those who had traveled to London for the Wembley game, spectators in Hampden or people who were watching a game in the Glasgow fan zone or on had seen a pub or house party.
The first Scottish minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has pointed to lower population immunity in Scotland. In previous waves of the virus, Scotland had fewer infections than anywhere else in the UK, meaning fewer people developed natural immunity.
Meanwhile, the Highlands’ largest hospital has been placed in ‘code black’ status after reaching capacity amid rising COVID cases, the BBC reported.
Citing a statement from the NHS Highland, the BBC reported that staffing and services at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness were under pressure as many staff had to self-isolate. The Health Council stated that its other hospitals and services face similar human resource challenges.
All non-urgent elective surgeries were canceled. Outpatient activities – with the exception of cancer, urgent and some other activities – have also been canceled.
NHS Highland said more than 100 cases were occurring in its area every day. There were more than 1,300 cases in June, which is about a fifth of the total number of cases the public health department has had since the pandemic began.
“The number of Covid-19 cases in our area has increased significantly,” said NHS Highland, adding, “This is affecting NHS Highland as some of these cases are now being admitted to our hospitals.”
It added, “We are also seeing the impact on a large number of our employees in a number of settings that need to self-isolate, creating gaps and pressure in our service. In addition, we are still at the beginning. “The summer school vacation and the planned annual vacation.”
Dr. Boyd Peters, NHS Highland Medical Director, said: “We are doing everything in our power to ensure services but have had to make the difficult decision of canceling non-urgent work that I know many find annoying and frustrating become.
“We are very sorry that we had to do this,” added Peters. (ANI)