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Scottish Government announces 16,103 new Covid cases and five deaths in last 24 hours

A further 16,103 covid-19 cases have been reported in Scotland in the last 24 hours.

Official Scottish Government figures also show there have been five new deaths of people confirmed to have the virus, bringing the total number to 9,872.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 999,324 cases in Scotland.

There are currently 1,223 people in hospital with 42 being treated in intensive care.

4,385,227 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, 4,026,878 their second dose and 3,016,198 a third dose or booster.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon prepares to address MSPs in a virtual session of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

The First Minister will speak about what measures may be taken to halt the spread of the Omicron variant.

Cases of the deadly virus have shot up in recent days with the highest levels ever being recorded over the New Year period.

The BBC reports that more than 16,000 new covid cases are currently being reported a day on average, up from an average of about 6,000 over Christmas.

Sturgeon has been urged to change the self-isolation rules in Scotland from ten to seven days to get it in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

During an interview on Tuesday, Deputy First Minister John Swinney hinted that Sturgeon could change the rules in her statement today.

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