Coronavirus: Scotland records 123 new confirmed cases

Biggest daily increase in Covid-19 infections for more than three months, with 78 of the new cases in Tayside.

Coronavirus: Scotland records 123 new confirmed cases Getty Images

Scotland has confirmed 123 new coronavirus infections in the 24 hours, the biggest daily increase for more than three months.

The figure represents 1.5% of newly-tested individuals and is the largest single-day jump since May 16, when 187 people were diagnosed with Covid-19.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the large number of cases as being “of concern”.

Daily figures released by the Scottish Government on Saturday showed 78 of the new cases are in the Tayside region.

It follows a growing cluster of infections that originated from a 2 Sisters chicken factory in Coupar Angus, Perthshire.

All workers at the food processing plant and everyone in their households have been ordered to self-isolate until August 31.

Scotland has now seen 19,728 Covid-19 infections over the course of the pandemic.

The latest daily figures show there were 246 people in hospital with confirmed coronavirus – a drop of eight from the previous day’s total.

There were two people in intensive care with the disease on Friday night, which is unchanged over 24 hours.

No new deaths were reported among patients who have previously tested positive for the virus.

Earlier this week, Sturgeon said the country would remain in phase three of its route map out of lockdown for the next three weeks.

However, the reopening of gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts has been brought forward to August 31, from an earlier indicative date of September 14.

Meanwhile, other activities set to resume from Monday, August 24, were given the green light.

They include outdoor contact sports, driving lessons, and indoor face-to-face advice services such as Citizens Advice.

Some live outdoor events can also resume, as can bingo halls, but with strict limits on numbers and increased hygiene measures.

The First Minister also said on Friday the most recent estimate is that the R number in Scotland – the number of people each infected person infects – “could currently be above one” following the emergence of numerous Covid clusters across the country, including in Aberdeen, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and Perthshire.

There were eight new cases of coronavirus in the NHS Grampian area, where authorities have been dealing with a cluster of cases linked to pubs in Aberdeen.

That outbreak has seen local lockdown measures imposed on the city, forcing bars, cafes and restaurants to shut, while residents are being asked not to go into other people’s homes.

NHS Grampian said the number of cases associated with the cluster is now 254 – including some cases that had previously been detected but have now been found to have a link to the hospitality sector in Aberdeen after a more detailed investigation.

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