Around six in ten hospital patients with coronavirus are being admitted because of the virus, a new report suggests.
The other 40% are being treated for other conditions but then testing positive for Covid-19, according to the analysis.
Statistics published by Public Health Scotland looked at the number of people admitted to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Grampian hospitals over the festive period.
The figure is lower than the 68% of patients in hospital because of their Covid-19 infection between March and August last year, with the Delta variant the dominant strain during that time.
The publication focused on admissions at the NHSGGC board between January 1 and January 2 this year, and those at NHS Grampian between December 30, 2021, and January 4.
Patients were included in the figures if they had a confirmed Covid-19 PCR test either 14 days prior to their admission, or in the 48 hours following their admission date.
It shows that at NHSGGC, 37 people were admitted in that period definitely because of the virus, whilst an additional two people were admitted probably due to Covid-19.
A total of 30 people were admitted to NHSGGC who coincidentally tested positive for coronavirus.
In NHS Grampian, 23 people were determined to have definitely been admitted between December 30 and January 4 due to the virus, with an additional 13 people admitted probably because of the virus.
A total of 21 people were admitted to hospital who coincidentally tested positive for Covid-19.
The 60% admission figure was calculated by the total number of admissions deemed either ‘definite’ or ‘probable’ as the reason for a person’s admission at both health boards.
The data was due to be published earlier this week, but a delay was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday, pushing the publication to Friday to ensure the figures were “robust”.
Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie indicated that the data remains incomplete for the whole of Scotland.
“The publication of this data is welcome as it allows us to understand how the Omicron variant is affecting the people of Scotland and the NHS,” she said.
“But the data remains incomplete for the whole of Scotland and only a wider study will provide the conclusive findings that we need.
“That said, we should welcome the fact that the rate of hospitalisation appears to be lower than for the Delta variant, but it is clear that our NHS is under severe strain, not least due to staff absence, and lives are being put at risk.
“A&E departments are at breaking point, staff are working round the clock, delayed discharge is increasing and the government has warned that the situation may deteriorate even further.
“That’s why it’s vital that the SNP government matches its rhetoric with action and pulls out all the stops to protect public health and our national health service.”