Almost half of all confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Scotland are among the under-40 age group, according to new figures published on Wednesday.
Public Health Scotland (PHS) said that 48% of the 389 confirmed or possible cases of Omicron are among those aged 20-39 – compared to 25% of all cases in that age group – as of December 6.
But the agency said it “is not aware of any hospitalisations amongst people with a confirmed Omicron variant”.
It said the “somewhat younger age profile” of the Omicron cases reflects the “early detection of a large number of cases in events that typically attract people in these age groups”.
PHS said that as well as the 71 confirmed cases, nine highly probable and 309 possible Omicron variant cases had been reported by December 5.
Its latest Covid-19 and winter statistical report states: “The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 currently represents a very small, but rapidly growing, proportion of all cases in Scotland.”
Currently, around 15% of confirmed Omicron cases are among those under the age of 20, whereas around a third of all cases are in that youngest age group.
Last week, the Scottish Government said several Omicron cases were linked to a Steps concert at the Hydro in Glasgow on Monday November 22.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday told employers who had staff working from home at the start of the pandemic to enable them to do so again, amidst an increase in cases of the Omicron variant.
The First Minister indicated that people should be allowed to work from home until the middle of January, at which point the advice will be reviewed.
Scotland recorded nine new cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in the past 24 hours, taking the overall number to 108.
The figures published by the Scottish Government show there were 11 coronavirus deaths and 3077 cases recorded in the past 24 hours.
The Covid-19 death toll in Scotland under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – now stands at 9672.
The daily test positivity rate was 8.1%, down from 9.2% the previous day.
There were 582 people in hospital on Tuesday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up six on the day before, with 41 in intensive care, up three.
Meanwhile, latest National Records of Scotland figures show 88 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate were registered in the week November 29 to December 5, down ten on the previous week.
A total of 12,216 people have now died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus.
Pete Whitehouse, NRS director of statistical services, said: “The number of deaths from all causes registered in Scotland in this week was 1314, which is 184, or 16%, more than the five-year average.”
Of the latest Covid-linked deaths, 22 were people aged under 65, 16 were aged 65-74 and 50 were 75 or older.
Glasgow was the council area with the highest number of deaths at 12, followed by Falkirk and North Lanarkshire with seven deaths each.
There were 75 deaths in hospitals, four in care homes and nine at home or in a non-institutional setting.
The NRS statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.