Coronavirus (COVID-19): state of the epidemic - 11 March 2022

This report brings together the different sources of evidence and data about the Covid epidemic to summarise the current situation, why we are at that place, and what is likely to happen next.

This document is part of a collection

Looking ahead

Scottish Contact Survey

Changes in patterns of mixing and adherence to restrictions will impact on future case numbers. The Scottish Contact Survey measures times and settings that people mix where they could potentially spread Covid-19. Average contacts from the most recent Panel B cohort of the Scottish Contact Survey (week ending 2 March) indicate an average of 5.0 contacts. This has remained at a similar level compared to the previous Panel B of the survey (week ending 16 February).

Mean contacts within the other setting (contacts outside home, school and work) have increased by 11% within the last two weeks. Contacts within the home and work have remained at a similar level over the same period. Those within the 50-69 age groups have reported the biggest decrease in contacts, by at least 12%. This was largely driven by a reduction in contacts in the other and work setting. All remaining age groups have either reported an increase or a similar level of contacts over the same period.

Modelling the Epidemic

The latest Modelling the Epidemic report includes projections over the next three weeks for new daily infections in Scotland. These projections include the effect of booster take up. The 'Central' scenario assumes that transmissibility remains at current levels. 'Worse' assumes a higher transmissibility for Covid-19, whereas 'Better' assumes a lower transmissibility. With this taken into account, it is estimated that daily infections may be between 2,000 and 26,000 in late March. However, the future trajectory of infections is uncertain[70].

Figure 14 shows the impact of the daily infection projections on the number of people in hospital. The modelling includes all hospital stays, whereas the actuals only include stays up to 28 days' duration that are linked to Covid-19. There continues to be uncertainty over hospital occupancy in the next three weeks.

Figure 14: Medium term projections of modelled hospital bed demand, from Scottish Government modelling, based on positive test data reported up to 7 March.
a line chart showing three scenarios (Better, Central, and Worse) for modelled hospital bed demand in Scotland until the end of March. Three lines and corresponding confidence intervals represent the different scenarios, while a black dotted line represent actual hospital bed demand until late February. The ‘Central’, ‘Better’ and ‘Worse’ scenarios all show an initially increasing trend throughout early March, after which the ‘Better’ scenario shows a decreasing trend, the ‘Central’ scenario shows a plateau of hospital bed demand, and the ‘Worse’ scenario shows an increasing trend.

Long Covid

According to the Office for National Statistic (ONS), long Covid is defined as symptoms persisting more than four weeks after the first suspected coronavirus (Covid-19) episode that are not explained by something else.

Estimates of the proportion of people in the private residential population in Scotland that experience long Covid symptoms are published by the ONS Covid-19 Infection Survey on a monthly basis. The next scheduled release of long Covid data from the Covid-19 Infection Survey is expected to be summarised in this report on 8 April. For information on the most recent estimates, see the State of the Epidemic report published on 4 March 2022.

Weekly modelled estimates for Scotland are also usually published in the Modelling the Epidemic report, which can be found here. However, a report on the rate of long Covid-19 has not been included this week. This will resume again once updated estimates of self-reported long Covid-19 prevalence amongst those infected with the less severe Omicron variant become available.



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