A public health expert has admitted there is growing “concern” that soaring coronavirus cases are leaving NHS services in Tayside under “genuine strain”.
Linda Bauld, professor of public health at Edinburgh University, highlighted the risk to young people in the area from long Covid as the virus continues to spread rapidly.
The extent of the recent surge in the region can be seen in our interactive map.
Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme, Professor Bauld was asked if she was worried about the latest figures for coronavirus cases in Scotland.
The expert said: “I think hearing from some of the health boards, Tayside in particular, that they are under genuine strain, that does concern me, there’s no doubt about that.
“And also these numbers are very big, and we know that there are other health harms from this virus that are not about the severe illness that people might develop as a direct result of infection, but about long Covid, where we know that younger adults are just as likely to be infected as older adults.
“That’s about one in five people overall in the population, from the REACT Study Europe, will develop that.
“So I’m not panicking, and I think that we will hear later from the first minister, but nobody wanted to have this number of cases, and we hoped that it would level off.
“We heard from the first minister at her last briefing that she thought that it might have some signs of levelling off, but that is clearly not the case.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is due to provide an update on the situation on Friday.
We reported on Thursday that Covid hospital numbers in Tayside had almost doubled over night.
Across Scotland, almost 2,000 cases have recently been linked to football fans and the Euros.