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Covid-19 cases in NHS Highland region increase as much in one month as they did in the previous five months combined; news comes as region recorded just eight new positive tests for coronavirus in past 24 hours, and Scotland detected 1429 over the same one-day period

By Philip Murray

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NHS Highland has detected as many Covid-19 cases in the past month as it did in the previous five.

The health board area has recorded 334 infections since this time last month, when it had a cumulative infection total of 494. To put that in perspective, the previous 334 confirmed cases took from April 12 to September 14 to mount up.

However, despite the markedly increased rate, the Highlands continues to rise more slowly than in central belt areas, where cases continue to surge.

And only eight new coronavirus cases were detected in the NHS Highland area in the past 24 hours - taking its cumulative total to 828

That stands in contrast to Scotland as a whole, which saw its daily infection rate increase after recording more than 1400 new positive tests in the past 24 hours.

The new daily figure of 1429 was up from 1297 the day before.

And, as with yesterday, a large majority of those cases were recorded in just four central belt health boards. Greater Glasgow & Clyde (537), Lanarkshire (327), Lothian (239), and Ayrshire & Arran (92) accounted for almost 1200 of Scotland's newest positive tests.

Nationally, hospital admissions have continued to rise, with the number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients increasing to 570 from 527 the previous day.

Of those, some 49 were in intensive care, a rise of 14.

And, sadly, 15 further people have now died from Covid-19 following positive tests.

Elsewhere in the north of Scotland, NHS Eileanan Siar and NHS Orkney detected no new cases, although NHS Shetland reported one fresh positive test to see its cumulative total rise to 63.

NHS Grampian, meanwhile, detected 42 new infections – taking its overall tally to 2816.

And NHS Tayside's cumulative total passed through the 3000 mark after it recorded 58 new positive tests. Its total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic now stands at 3047.

Scotland has now recorded 42,685 confirmed cases since the global outbreak first began – a figure that is­ up almost 20,000 on the same point last month.

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