Covid Scotland: Professor Jason Leitch 'hesitant' to say Scotland has passed peak of football covid cases

Professor Jason Leitch said he is unable to confirm whether or not a surge in covid cases since the Euros Scotland v England has passed its peak yet.

On Wednesday, the highest number of Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic were recorded in Scotland with 3,887 positive test results in just 24 hours.

Scotland’s national clinical director confirmed these new cases are linked to football fans travelling to London for the Euros and other football celebrations that took place across the country.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Professor Leitch said he “hopes” these case numbers will stabilise from today, but he is “hesitant” to confirm that Scotland is past its peak case number since the football celebrations given the record numbers yesterday.

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Data from Public Health Scotland published on Wednesday shows there were almost 2,000 people who attended a Euro 2020-related event while infectious with the virus.

Prof Leitch said this had undoubtedly contributed to Scotland’s recent spike in cases, and that the number of those positive cases related to the Euros game were an “underestimate.”

He added: “To keep it in perspective, there were 32,000 positives since the Euros began.

Football fans in London ahead of the Scotland v England Euros game.

“And 2,000 of those positives, in their Test and Protect interviews, say they were at something to do with the Euros.

“So that will be an underestimate, some won’t have told us that, some won’t have appreciated that was important.”

The national R number is currently between 1.2 and 1.4, so everyone who gets the infection gives it to just over one other person.

But Prof Leitch explained the virus itself has an R number between 3 and 4 and if, during celebrations, crowds of people under the age of 40 were together, un-vaccinated, this will have allowed the virus to be a “super spreader.”

"The advice remains the same,” he added.

"What I care about is that you follow the rules and the route to the 17 July and the 9 August is exactly the same as it’s always been. Get tested and get vaccinated and follow the rules for your area.”

Three further coronavirus deaths were also included in Wednesday’s Scottish Government statistics which means the the death toll under the daily measure now stands at 7,716.

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