Urgent demands have been made for an independent inquiry into more than 200 Covid-19 deaths that transpired after patients contracted the virus in Scottish hospitals.

The Herald revealed on Saturday that almost a thousand patients have developed coronavirus after being admitted to hospital for other conditions, with more than 200 losing their lives as a result.

At least 218 of the 908 patients who first developed Covid-19 on a ward that wasn’t specifically treating the virus later died from it - accounting for one in eight of all Covid-19 deaths in Scotland.

Now, Scots politicians are calling for an inquiry into the deaths, and are demanding an explanation from the Scottish Government.

READ MORE: More than 200 die after first falling sick in Scottish hospitals

Scottish Labour's health and social care spokeswoman, Monica Lennon, said the First Minister should have been upfront from the beginning.

“It’s absolutely shocking that almost 1,000 people have caught Covid-19 in Scottish hospitals and the Scottish Government kept it a secret for as long as possible," she said.

“Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman should have been upfront from the beginning. It’s scandalous that this information had to be dragged out of the Scottish Government and they should be ashamed they said nothing for so long.

“The whole time they’ve been telling the public to stay at home in order to protect the NHS they failed to mention that the virus was spreading through our hospitals.

"These outbreaks coincide with older people being discharged from hospitals into care homes. An urgent independent inquiry is needed.

Ms Lennon said it must be revealed how many of the patients who were infected within hospitals were later discharged into care homes - and if anyone had died as a result.

She added: “The First Minister and the Health Secretary can’t hide behind patient confidentiality like they did over the Nike cover-up. They must explain their lack of candour and apologise to everyone who has been affected.

“The Scottish Government has been too slow in providing PPE, too slow in providing testing and too slow in telling the truth.

“It’s vital that all hospital outbreaks and deaths connected to them are properly investigated by the COPFS and Police Scotland, where appropriate.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish Conservatives are demanding Health Secretary Jeane Freeman makes an urgent statement to Holyrood next week.

READ MORE: Labour: Freeman must 'come clean' over discharging untested hospital patients into care homes

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary said: “It is utterly shocking how misleading the SNP government has been regarding the number of hospital cases of Covid, and the number of deaths from those cases.

“Families across Scotland demand to know the truth.

“The SNP government still hasn’t given us full information about these hospital-based cases in which over 200 patients tragically died.

“The Health Secretary must now answer if these deaths were known about prior to the mass exodus to care homes, how the virus spread within hospitals and if patient’s families have been informed fully.

“I have called yet again for Jeane Freeman to come before the Scottish Parliament next week and explain herself and this latest attempt by SNP Ministers to mislead the public.

“The handling of this matter is a total shambles, just typical of the contradiction and confusion that now dominates the SNP government’s approach to this crisis.”