A plea has been issued to people living in Tayside to help ease the pressure on health and care services in the region amidst a rise in coronavirus cases in the region.
Dr Pamela Johnston, the operational medical director at NHS Tayside, said that 36 patients are currently in hospital being treated for the virus, with some of those requiring intensive care.
And she said that “many” of those patients are under the age of 40, with that number expected to rise in the coming weeks.
Earlier this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Scots to “take care and be cautious”, after the country recorded the highest number of daily cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Johnston explained that two additional wards in Ninewells Hospital, meaning that 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.
“I know everyone is really fed up of living with restrictions and wants to enjoy the summer, but we really need your support to get the number of new cases down.”
Johnston urged people to test themselves regularly and to get both doses of the Covid-19 vaccination.
She said: “Please, on behalf of all of our teams here in hospital and out in our communities, can I ask all of you to keep following the FACTS guidance, wear a face mask, avoid crowded spaces, clean your hands regularly, stay two metres distance from others and self isolate if you develop symptoms and book a test.
“Test yourself regularly to make sure you are not passing on the virus to your friends and family – it has never been easier to get tested, so please make it part of your routine.
“It is also very important that everyone gets both doses of the vaccine when they are offered for maximum protection against the virus. Drop-in clinics are now running for everyone over the age of 18, so please get jabbed.”