Bosses at the largest Scots heath board have urged Scots not to attend accident and emergency unless their condition is “urgent or life-threatening” amid a surge in Covid cases.
It comes after the number of coronavirus patients in the country’s hospitals reached a record for the second day in a row.
As the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals climbed to 2,221 across Scotland – an increase of 93 from Monday, with 37 new deaths also reported – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde issued the plea.
“Our hospitals are near capacity and Covid pressures remain,” said Dr Scott Davidson, deputy medical director of the health board.
“Our staff are doing everything to help patients, but to support them please only attend our sites if your condition is very urgent.”
He spoke as the latest figures showed 11,163 people in Scotland have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus
Of those in hospital, Tuesday’s figures showed 29 were in intensive care – down two from the previous day.
There were a further 11,912 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Scotland.
Highland Council said three primary schools – Cannich Bridge in Beauly, Rosebank in Nairn and Rosehall in Lairg – were all closed on Tuesday because of the virus – with the associated nursery schools at Cannich Bridge and Rosebank also closed.
Kingussie High School was only open to pupils in S4 to S6.
Liberal Democrat education spokesman Willie Rennie said as infection levels had increased it was “little surprise that school absences have shot up too”.
He added that the Scottish Government “may now be regretting that it rejected my proposals for air filters in schools to help slow down that spread”.
Mr Rennie warned: “Further absences from school on top of the last two years’ worth will compound the existing inequalities in the education system.
“The SNP Government have not fully grasped the ramifications of all this lost learning and their recovery planning is wholly inadequate as it just repeats what they were already planning to do.
“The inadequate exams advice recently issued from the Scottish Qualifications Authority will not make up for all the lost learning. I suspect we are moving towards another year of exam chaos.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The safety of children, young people, and all education staff remains the overriding priority while minimizing disruption to learning.
“It continues to be our firm intention that exams take place this year. Significant modifications have been made to exams and coursework to take account of disruption to learning.
“Targeted exam preparation sessions will be available to those who most need it over the Easter break, in addition to the SQA revision support. Support also continues to be available through the National e-Learning Offer.
“The Scottish Government has provided funding to local authorities to carry out remedial work that is needed to ensure good ventilation.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.