Coronavirus levels discovered in sewage across Scotland have risen by a fifth in the last week amid fears the nation could be heading for a new virus surge.

New figures show that Covid in wastewater has fluctuated while cases of the deadly virus have remained at around the same level for a number of weeks.

New data has showed a rise of “approximately 20 per cent” in coronavirus detected in wastewater in the seven days to November 2.

Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, last week warned there are “early signs” that coronavirus case numbers could start to increase again and cited the summit as being one possible reason for this.

Some experts had predicted there would be a rise in people testing positive for Covid at and following the COP26 climate conference which has seen 30,000 global delegates descent on Glasgow.

Last week Nicola Sturgeon's Covid adviser Professor Devi Sridhar, a professor of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, said seeing huge queues of people in close proximity at the summit had left her anxious knowing how "fragile" the situation has been.

Levels of virus detected in wastewater peaked in line with recorded infections in recent months.

But while case numbers have crept up only slightly in the past fortnight, sewage monitoring detected a sharper hike.


The latest government analysis showed: "Nationwide, Covid-19 levels in wastewater have shown an increase since last week (October 20 to 26), increasing by approximately 20 per cent.

"Whilst the measured wastewater levels have fluctuated, case numbers remained steady at around 50 new cases per 100,000 population (7-day average) over the last month."

Epidemic report findings showed average Covid levels in samples from 106 sewage plants on November 2 was some 68m gene copies per person per day (Mgc/p/d).

That was up approximately a fifth from 56m Mgc/p/d for the week ending October 26.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “As noted by the Chief Medical Officer, the most recent seven day average figures across Scotland saw a small rise in cases to 2,786 cases a day, compared to 2,436 cases a day the previous week.

“Cases remain much lower than the previous peak around the start of September, but the situation remains precarious.

“The continued high number of cases means that the national health service remains under more pressure than at any time during its 73-year history and these pressures are likely to intensify during the winter.”

As of Sunday there have been 668,521 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Scotland and 9,293 people have died following a positive test for the virus.

Over seven days 18,939 cases were  reported, with 2,908 cases confirmed on Sunday.