Dundee has one of UK’s highest Covid transmission rates

NHS Tayside says additional wards opened at Ninewells Hospital to cope with rising cases in the region.

Dundee has one of UK’s highest Covid transmission rates jimmcdowall via iStock
Dundee has high rates of Covid-19 transmission.

Dundee now has one of the highest transmission rates of Covid-19 in the UK, with 788.2 cases per 100,000 of the population.

That is the highest case rate in Scotland, with the R number in the country now estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.5 based on the period up to June 28.

The Scottish Government published a report on Thursday saying four local authorities – Edinburgh, Dundee, Fife and Glasgow – have at least a 75% probability of exceeding 1000 cases per 100,000.

Of these, Edinburgh is expected to exceed 2000 cases per 100,000 with at least a 75% probability.

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The report said: “Based on the most recent increase in cases, infections, hospital beds and ICU are projected to rise – for how long this continues is uncertain.

“Following the recent increase in cases, we are projecting a continued growth in the epidemic in Scotland, with considerable uncertainty as to what this means for future weeks.”

Earlier on Thursday, a plea was issued to people living in Tayside to help ease the pressure on health and care services in the region.

Dr Pamela Johnston, the operational medical director at NHS Tayside, said 36 patients are currently in hospital being treated for the virus, with some of those requiring intensive care.

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And she said that “many” of those patients are under the age of 40, with that number expected to rise in the coming weeks.

Johnston explained that two additional wards have been opened at Ninewells Hospital, meaning there are now three dedicated wards with almost 60 beds for Covid-19 patients.

GPs at the Covid Assessment Centre in Dundee are also seeing five times as many people as they were a month ago, according to the operational director.

“What is different for the hospital in this latest spike, and more so than at the start of the year, is that there is more emergency surgical and medical activity happening. We also have a number of staff self-isolating,” said Johnston.

“All of these things together mean that all of our health and care services in Tayside are under increasing strain from this demand.”

Meanwhile, the coronavirus situation in Edinburgh and the Lothians is also precarious.

Public Health Scotland data published on Thursday shows Midlothian has 676 cases per 100,000, East Lothian has 623.8 per 100,000 and Edinburgh has 585 per 100,000.

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Six deaths and 4234 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Scotland overnight, according to official figures.

It is the highest number of daily Covid-19 cases reported by the Scottish Government since the start of the pandemic – the third time this week following Monday’s 3285 and Wednesday’s 3887.

The lab-confirmed death toll of those who tested positive currently stands at 7722. However, figures including suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is now at least 10,168.

Of the new cases reported on Thursday, 1091 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 999 are in Lothian, 559 are in Tayside and 413 are in Lanarkshire.