Covid cases in Scottish hospitals have continued to rise steadily over the past week, according to the latest figures.
Data from Public Health Scotland (PHS) showed a 6.1% increase in the number of outbreaks present on wards across the country.
Western Isles Hopsital in Stornoway has been forced to heavily restrict visitors and cancel several pre-planned operations in response to growing rates at the facility.
A further 82 people have died with either confirmed or suspected coronavirus in the period to July 17.
As of that date, there have been a total of 15,179 deaths registered in Scotland where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate.
An estimated 334,000 people are thought to have Covid – around 6.3% of the population.
The PHS report also states that the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is now being overhauled by the BA.4 and BA.5 strains, which have gained traction since first being identified in Scotland in March.
Modelling undertaken by the UK Health Security Agency also indicated that the growth advantage was greater in BA.5 and could lead to increased community transmission, though noted both have undergone “rapid increases”.
Meanwhile, there were 21 new admissions to intensive care units with a laboratory confirmed test of Covid-19, which was two down on the week before.
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