A recent rise in Covid infection numbers in Scotland has been described by officials as ‘uncertain’.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that the number of people testing positive for the virus in Scotland on the week ending June 2 was 124,000 - which equates to around one in 40 people, or 2.36 per cent of the population.
This figure is a rise on the estimate of 105,900 with the virus in Scotland in the previous week.
As mass testing has come to a conclusion in Scotland, ONS officials are able to make estimates based on their Covid Infection Survey.
Volunteers take a nose/throat swab, while providing a blood sample as part of the study.
Similar rises were also recorded in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
Here is everything we know about the rise in Covid infection estimates in Scotland.
What could be causing the growth in infection?
It has been suggested that the rise in Covid infection may be due to a newer Covid variants.
BA.4 and BA.5, which are said to be similar to the Omicron strain of the virus, were both identified as ‘variants of concern’ by the UK Health Security Agency last month.
Early research suggests that the two variants have a ‘growth advantage’ over the currently dominant BA.2 Omicron strain.
There is also some laboratory data to suggest a degree of ‘immune escape’, according to UKHSA officials.
Dr Meera Chanda, Director of Clinical and Emerging Infections at the UKHSA, said: “The reclassification of these variants as variants of concern reflects emerging evidence on the growth of BA.4 and BA.5 internationally and in the UK.
“Whilst the impact of these variants is uncertain, the variant classification system aims to identify potential risk as early as possible.
“UKHSA is undertaking further detailing studies. Data and analysis will be released in due course through our regular surveillance reporting.”
How many people have been vaccinated in Scotland?
Data released by Public Health Scotland shows that 73.3 per cent of Scots aged 12 and over have received three doses of the Covid vaccine.
More than 500,000 people have been given a fourth dose of the vaccine, while over 21,000 have been given a fifth.
Evidence released by the UK Government estimated that 230,800 hospitalisations were prevented by Covid vaccines in those over 45 as of September 2021 - which was pre-Omicron.
How many people are in hospital with Covid?
The number of people in Scotland’s hospital with Covid is 748 as of June 12 - with 16 of those receiving intensive care, according to Public Health Scotland.
This is a rise from the 637 in hospital with Covid in the previous week.
What are the rules if you have Covid in Scotland?
Scots have been advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if they have symptoms of any respiratory infection and have a high temperature.
NHS Scotland has also urged to get in touch with any people you may have been in close contact with in the days before infection.
It is no longer a legal requirement to stay at home if you have symptoms of the virus.
Officials say that people should wear a mask, avoid public transport and wash hand regularly if they have leave the house during the period of suspected Covid infection.
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