The number of people being admitted to hospital in Lanarkshire with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 is now higher than at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, hospitals across the region hit 90% capacity with 220 patients being treated with confirmed coronavirus and a further 44 people suspected of also having caught it.
NHS Lanarkshire is now appealing for the public’s help to reduce Covid rates by following the FACTS guidance.
Judith Park, director of acute services for NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We are currently treating more than 200 patients with confirmed Covid-19 in our hospitals, which is more patients than at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.
“I would like to remind the public that Covid-19 is causing severe pressure on our NHS resources in Lanarkshire. In fact, Lanarkshire currently has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 transmission in Scotland.
“To protect our loved ones, our staff and our hospitals, it is vitally important that we all follow Scottish Government guidance, especially in relation to FACTS.
“Everyone should take care to wear a face covering when indoors, on public transport or when physical distancing is difficult. We should avoid crowded places and clean our hands regularly. We should also keep a two metre distance from others and self-isolate and book a test if we show symptoms.”
At the height of the pandemic, 9279 people attended emergency departments across Lanarkshire. In September this increased by 6619 to 15,898.
The health board has also seen an increase of 1498 patients requiring subsequent admission to hospital. This month’s figures are set to be even higher.
Ms Park added: “Our emergency departments are also exceptionally busy.
“We want to provide the best and safest care for our patients. To do that, I am appealing to the public for their help in reducing the risk of Covid-19 in Lanarkshire hospitals.
“We need to ensure that our hospitals comply with physical distancing. Therefore, please do not attend our emergency departments unless it is an emergency.
“If you have an appointment at one of our clinics or departments, please attend alone. The exception to this is for children and vulnerable adults, who can be accompanied by one person.”
People who need immediate medical assistance should call their GP practice or 111 out of hours, and in emergencies dial 999.
Emergency departments should also still be used for serious conditions such as suspected heart attacks, strokes, severe asthma or diabetic collapse.
NHS Lanarkshire also has minor injuries units.
F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport.
A – Avoid crowded places.
C – Clean your hands frequently, using water and soap whenever possible.
T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.
S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.
For more information, click here.
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country