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Scottish Labour warns of ‘incredibly worrying’ spread of Covid-19 in adult care homes

THE latest figures for suspected Covid-19 cases in adult care homes are “incredibly worrying,” Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson has said.

Jackie Baillie quoted statistics, up to January 5, which show there is at least one suspected case of Covid-19 in 251 care homes — representing 24 per cent of all Scottish care homes.

In the week from December 27 to January 2 there were 612 new confirmed Covid‑19 cases among care home residents.

The number of staff across all care homes confirmed as positive was 1,098.

Ms Baillie called for the situation to be monitored closely.

She said: “This is an incredibly worrying development, and the rapid increase in infections is a real concern that must be addressed by the Cabinet Secretary for Health.

“We all remember the tragic consequences of the first wave in Scotland’s care homes and every effort must be made to keep those in our care homes safe.

“With so many of our care home staff being forced to self-isolate, serious concerns exist around the resilience of the sector in such an event.”

The warning comes as Public Health Scotland warned that 60 per cent of growing hospital admissions at two of Scotland’s biggest health boards was due to Covid-19. 

Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said exceptional measures had been taken in every area of government to deal with Covid-19 — particularly in support of local services.

He said: “Our overriding priority throughout the pandemic has been to safeguard and protect staff and residents of care homes.

“Additional protective measures aim to ensure residents continue to be able to spend time with their loved ones, while balancing the current Covid-19 risk and the need to keep people safe in line with clinical advice provided about the omicron variant.”

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