THE number of positive Covid-19 cases in Scotland has risen by more than 40 per cent in a single week, figures show.

Public Health Scotland’s weekly statistical report shows there were 21,914 reported cases of Covid-19 in the week up to July 3, a 42.5% increase from the 15,382 reported in the week before.

There was also an average of 1450 patients in hospital with Covid-19 during the same week.

The figure is a stark increase from the 1148 recorded the previous week, a jump of 26.3%.

Up to July 3, the report also found, there were 877 new admissions of patients with Covid-19, which had dropped from 1062.

READ MORE: Covid in Scotland: Death rate after positive test rates plummets

In a letter to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton asked for clarity on the future of testing for health and social care staff and on vaccination boosters expected for vulnerable groups in the coming months.

He said: “With Covid cases spiking once more, it seems bizarre for the Health Secretary to be talking about dismantling our defences.

“It seems as if he has learned nothing from the past two years.

“NHS staff and patients will be filled with dread at the prospect of an end to testing.

“What’s more, the Health Secretary’s recent comments seem to contradict the Scottish Government’s testing transition plan published in March which said routine asymptomatic testing of the health and social care workforce would play an ongoing role.”

The figures come as Scotland’s largest health board has seen a surge in Covid cases, with medical staff reporting accident and emergency (A&E) services being “busier than ever”.

Hospitals across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGCC), of which there are 35 of different types, reported on Wednesday that 457 in-patients had tested positive for the virus in the last 28 days.

This figure is a jump from 277 cases reported on June 21.

READ MORE: One in 15 Scots infected with Covid amid 'surge' of virus

And the health board, which according to the NHS provides for a population of 1.14 million people, reported its hospital occupancy is currently at 90.6%.

With one in 15 people in Scotland now infected with the virus, senior clinicians, including deputy medical director for acute services for NHSGGC Dr Scott Davidson, have warned members of the public to stay away from A&E unless their condition is very urgent or life-threatening.

“Our staff are working around the clock to make sure we continue to see the sickest patients coming to our A&Es but we’re over capacity,” Dr Davidson said.

“Services, quite frankly, are busier than ever, creating a bottleneck at the front door and, as a result, patients unfortunately are having to wait long periods of time to be treated.”

Patients have been urged to access unscheduled and emergency care through NHS Inform, NHS 24 and their GPs and pharmacists instead.