Information

Coronavirus (COVID-19): state of the epidemic - 13 May 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


Summary

Since the last publication, the UKHSA consensus estimate of R has decreased, and both the lower and upper limits of the R value were below one as at 26 April. The positivity estimate from the Covid-19 Infection Survey (CIS) for Scotland continued to decrease in the most recent week to 7 May. Over the past two weeks to 10 May there has been an overall nationwide decline in wastewater Covid-19 levels; however, the most recent week saw a slight increase. According to the CIS, the estimated percentage of people testing positive has decreased among all ages.

Both Covid-19 related daily hospital and ICU occupancy appear to have continued to decline in the most recent week to 8 May, after reaching the highest levels seen throughout the pandemic on 2 April. The weekly number of Covid-19 admissions appears to have continued to decrease in the week to 19 April, after reaching the highest levels seen throughout the pandemic in the week to 18 March; however, these trends are to be interpreted with caution due to recent changes in testing. There were 85 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate in the latest week, a decrease from the week before.

Key Points

  • The UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) consensus estimate for R in Scotland as at 26 April is between 0.7 and 0.9. The lower and upper limits of the R value have both decreased since the previous publication.
  • As at 26 April, the UKHSA’s consensus view was that the incidence of new daily infections in Scotland was between 16 and 302 per 100,000 people.
  • The latest estimated growth rate for Scotland as at 26 April was between -6% and -3%. The upper and lower growth limits have both decreased since the previous publication.
  • As determined through the latest weekly ONS Covid-19 Infection Survey (CIS), in Scotland, the percentage of people living in private residential households testing positive for Covid-19 continued to decrease in the week ending 7 May 2022. In the latest week, the estimated percentage of people testing positive was 3.01% (95% credible interval: 2.57% to 3.45%)[2], equating to around 1 in 35 people (95% credible interval: 1 in 40 to 1 in 30).
  • In the most recent week (1 to 7 May 2022), estimates for the percentage of people testing positive were similar for all CIS Regions in Scotland and ranged from 3.17% in CIS Region 128 (NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Borders and NHS Dumfries & Galloway) (95% credible interval: 2.65% to 3.81%) to 3.25% in CIS Region 127 (NHS Lanarkshire) (95% credible interval: 2.65% to 3.89%).
  • Nationwide, wastewater Covid-19 levels declined slightly in the last two weeks. The week ending 10 May saw levels of around 84 million gene copies per person per day (Mgc/p/d), a decrease compared to 97 Mgc/p/d two weeks ago (week ending 26 April) and 76 Mgc/p/d observed in the previous week (week ending 3 May).
  • Please note that due to testing policy changes, reported cases will no longer be representative of all COVID-19 cases in Scotland, and caution is advised when comparing trends in cases over time. By specimen date, there were 158 weekly combined PCR and LFD cases (including reinfections) per 100,000 population in the week to 6 May.
  • In the week to 8 May, daily Covid-19 hospital occupancy in Scotland appears to be on a decline; however, this is to be interpreted with caution due to latest changes in testing. NHS boards reported 1,033 patients in hospital or in short stay ICU on 8 May with recently confirmed Covid-19, compared to 1,285 on 1 May.
  • There were 917 Covid-19 admissions to hospital in the week to 19 April compared to the previous week ending 12 April (1,128 admissions); a 19% decrease. There were 27 new Covid-19 patients admitted to ICU in the week to 24 April, compared to 25 in the week to 17 April; an 8% increase. These figures are to be interpreted with caution due to recent testing changes, and data continues to be lagged by two weeks from the latest available date due to high numbers of revisions.
  • The overall number of Covid-19 deaths has decreased by 11%, or 10 deaths, to a total of 85 deaths in the week leading up to 8 May, compared to 95 in the week leading up to 1 May.
  • In the week ending 8 May, the total number of deaths registered in Scotland was 1,085. This was 4% above the five-year average for this week.
  • According to PHS analysis on the equality of vaccine uptake, White ethnic groups tend to have the highest vaccination uptake while African, Caribbean or Black and Other ethnic groups tend to have the lowest vaccination uptake for all the available Covid-19 vaccine doses. However, over time this difference in uptake has become smaller. Additionally, individuals living in the least deprived areas tend to have a higher vaccination uptake than those living in the most deprived areas in Scotland.
  • Omicron sub-lineage BA.2 remains dominant in the United Kingdom (UK) and Scotland based on sequencing data. Some diversity is developing within this variant, and South Africa has seen an increase in cases compatible with Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5. However, the population within South Africa has a different background of natural immunity compared to UK and Scotland as they did not previously undergo a significant wave of Omicron BA.2 infections. Therefore, the conditions favouring BA.4 and BA.5 growth may not be applicable in the UK and Scotland.

Method

This report brings together a wide range of publicly available figures from a range of data sources. These include publications by Scottish Government, Public Heath Scotland, National Records of Scotland and Office for National Statistics along with scientific publications and SAGE and UKHSA summaries where appropriate to summarise the state of the epidemic in Scotland in a given week. We also provide information on public attitudes to the virus from monthly YouGov polling surveys and fortnightly information from the Scottish Contact Survey.

Contact

Email: sgcentralanalysisdivision@gov.scot

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