NHS Tayside staff has issued a “heartfelt plea” for people to stay at home tonight for Hogmanay and bring in the New Year safely.
The health board made made the plea, explaining that Covid-19 was continuing to circulate across Tayside and the new strain is now the most common form of the virus.
The numbers of patients being admitted to hospital is increasing with more critically ill patients being cared for in Tayside’s dedicated Covid High Dependency Unit and Covid Intensive Care Unit at Ninewells Hospital.
They have asked everyone to follow guidance and not to have house parties or gatherings and no first footing this year.
Dr Emma Fletcher, director of public health, gave the stark warning that people will die over the next few weeks from Covid-19.
She said: “I would urge everyone to be responsible and stay at home to welcome in 2021 with their own household in their own home.
“Traditionally, bringing in the New Year has revolved around meeting up with family and friends but this just cannot happen. We need to all think very carefully about what we are doing to help stop the spread of coronavirus and protect our loved ones and the NHS.
“Hogmanay is going to be different for us all this year but please know that the decisions you make tonight and in the coming weeks have a direct impact on what happens next with COVID-19 in our communities and also in our hospitals and other care facilities.
“Everything we do as individuals to stop this virus spreading helps reduce the number of people who will become ill and end up in hospital.
“Sadly some people will die over the next few weeks of Covid-19, so the message is clear; stay at home this Hogmanay.”
Dr David Connell, respiratory consultant working in the Covid-19 areas at Ninewells Hospital, has witnessed a rise in cases.
He said: “I have been working in our dedicated Covid wards and critical care facilities since the beginning of the pandemic and we are currently seeing a rise in the number of patients with more severe symptoms of Covid-19.
“Our health and social care teams really are working tirelessly to look after all who need care in hospital and in our communities, but we need everyone to do their bit, play their part, take it seriously this Hogmanay and do not mix households.”