Covid-19 cases rise in Grampian as Delta variant becomes dominant
People in Aberdeenshire are being urged to show caution as a rising number of Covid-19 cases is giving cause for concern.
More cases are being identified across the NHS Grampian area, with the Delta variant – previously known as the Indian variant – now the dominant strain.
Dr Derek Cox, Consultant in Public Health, said: “At the end of May, we were seeing case numbers sitting around eight or nine a day. We are now seeing daily cases at three times that. We need to take action now, before we ‘catch up’ with other parts of the country.”
The rate of infection varies between different parts of Aberdeenshire, but with the highly-infectious Delta variant accounting for around 80 per cent of cases, there are fears the picture could change quickly.
Dr Cox said: “This variant is more than 60 per cent more infectious than the Alpha variant; it appears to be more resistant to the available vaccines, which means there is a greater need for everyone to get both doses; and emerging evidence suggests that the Delta variant may be associated with higher rates of hospitalisation (perhaps up to double) than the Alpha variant, even taking account of vaccination.
“I know there will be those who will point to the very low numbers of people currently in hospital and say we are making an undue fuss.
"The simple fact is, the third wave is here, but we have a window of opportunity to slow its progress across Grampian and give as many people as possible the opportunity to get both doses of Covid-19 vaccine.”
Anyone who has symptoms should arrange a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at a government testing centre or by ordering a test through the post. However, all members of the public who have no symptoms are strongly urged to get a supply of LFD tests and to do the test twice weekly.
Information on testing and where the pick up testing kits:
Dr Cox added that NHS Grampian’s experience in Moray had shown that working with the community can make a real difference. As such, he is encouraging everyone to consider the following:
• When invited people should go for the vaccination. A rising number of appointments are not being taken up. Younger people are still at risk of hospitalisation and of developing Long Covid and should not assume they don’t need to get vaccinated. Appointments are being issued to the first batch of 18-29 year-olds to register for SMS/email alerts through the national portal.
• Avoid unnecessary travel outwith your own area, and especially to the Central Belt of Scotland and to England.
• Avoid crowded indoor places – if it looks too crowded, it is too crowded; and limit the numbers of people mixing at home.
• Continue with the usual precautions of social distancing and use of face coverings. Apart from mixing in households these precautions still apply in shops, public transport, circulation areas in public buildings and workplaces.
• Hospitality venues should continue to comply with the Covid requirements. Good ventilation and physical distancing are absolutely vital.
Dr Cox added: “Our choices right now will determine how quickly we can progress towards something approaching a normal life once again.”