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Sharp rise in Covid cases as deaths also increase

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There was a sharp rise in the number of Covid infections in Scotland in the past week, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said an estimated one in 35 people had the virus in the week to 10 October - up from one in 50.

The number of deaths related to Covid also increased.

A total of 52 death certificates mentioned the infection during the week, 16 more than were recorded in the previous seven days.

The ONS figures showed that the equivalent of about 144,400 people had caught Covid, a rise from 109,700, in the week up to 29 September - the most recent previous statistic.

Despite the increase in Scotland, ONS deputy director of the survey, Sarah Crofts, said the trend of infections was still "uncertain".

Cases have risen across the UK, except Northern Ireland, according to the survey, with England rising from one in 35 to one in 30 people estimated to have the virus and Wales rising from one in 40 to one in 25.

The new figures show that across the UK, infections have climbed above two million for the first time since July.

"Infections have continued to increase across England and Wales, with uncertain trends in Northern Ireland and Scotland," Ms Crofts said.

"Though infections have increased overall in England, it is a mixed picture across regions and age groups.

"It is too early to say from the data whether overall recent rises are starting to slow, but we will continue to monitor the data closely."

Key findings from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) survey showed that 52 death certificates in the country mentioned the virus in the week up to 16 October, a jump of 16 from the week before.

Separate figures showed that a recent rise in Covid-19 hospital patients may have levelled off.

There were 884 people in hospital this week, a rise of four since last week, with five patients in ICU, a rise of one.

The winter Covid vaccination booster campaign continues, with 872,410 people - 16% of the population - having received the jab.