Scottish Borders and Greater Glasgow at the epicentre of Covid-19 spread

Border regions and areas around Glasgow are at the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland, new data shows.

In the first publication of local area data since the start of the new year, the areas in which the spread of Covid-19 is most prevalent have been outlined since the new strain of the disease hit around half of all new cases.

National cases have been above 2,000 a day since December 29, excluding data from January 4 where 1,905 people tested positive.

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The Borders is at the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland

Cases have been above 2,500 on three occasions, including today’s figure of 2,529, more than double the number of cases reported on Boxing Day – the first day of the level four lockdown.

Inverclyde, which is in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board, is experiencing the highest rates of Covid-19 in the country. The board has recorded 578.4 cases per 100,000 people in the latest figures covering specimens of Covid-19 tests from between December 27 and January 2.

During the same time period, Dumfries and Galloway (536.1 cases per 100,000) and the Scottish Borders (432 per 100,000) have also seen cases shoot up.

Renfrewshire and North Lanarkshire (414.9 and 402.2 cases per 100,000 respectively) are also showing signs of exponential growth of Covid-19 similar to what has already occurred in London and south-east England.

Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing on Tuesday and responding to a question about the situation in the Borders, said: “These are areas we moved down into level one not long before the end of the year because case incidence was so low.

"But the virus has this new strain, has got in there, that will undoubtedly be to some extent travel-related, with people who'll have brought it either returning from elsewhere in the UK or coming from elsewhere in the UK, but it is spreading very quickly.

"And therefore now Borders is one of the three or four health boards that gives us the greatest immediate concern about hospital capacity and that makes it all the more important that people in the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, right across the country, understand the severity of this and understand why we are saying to people 'stay at home'.”

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