One of Scotland's foremost public health experts has said she was "shocked" to see almost 3,000 coronavirus infections recorded in Scotland in 24 hours. 

Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said that the steep increase revealed by Scottish Government statistics was "concerning", and said that it was inevitable the riseing tide of Covid cases would put strain on the NHS.

However, she added that there was room for optimism as the majority of cases were now among people in mid-life, meaning fewer were getting seriously ill or at risk of dying from the disease. 

READ MORE: Almost 3,000 new cases in 24 hours and five reported deaths

Speaking to BBC Good Morning Scotland today, she said: "I was pretty shocked to be honest. These are big numbers.

"We've heard from the First Minister repeatedly that round five per cent of people are ending up in hospital compared to 10% previously in the pandemic. 

"But if you look at 5% of 2,979, that's still a lot of people who wouldn't want to be in hospital."

She added: "So I am concerned and we'll have to see how this pans through and quite what is causing it. We can speculate, but it's not good."

HeraldScotland:

Prof Linda Bauld 

The expert said she was "more optimistic" about the severity of the illnesses among those being admitted to hospital, with those receiving tretament now chiefly aged 45-64. There was also a significant number aged 25-44, but very few aged over 85.

Prof Bauld said and meant healthier people were going into hospital, resulting in shorter stays on wards.

READ MORE: Weekly deaths linked to the virus return to double figures

She added: "That means that the damage this disease causes to health is reduced, but not eliminated. 

"So we're moving in the right direction, but I was concerned about those case numbers."

HeraldScotland:

Fans gathering for Euroe 2020 matches may be behind the upsurge

Prof Bauld said something "wierd" was going on with the figures, as the majority were among men — when throughout the pandemic fresh cases had been split between the sexes evenly. 

She said it was too early to link the upsurge to fans gathering for Euro 2020 football matches, but added that the issue "really needed investigating."