A 'high' number of children in Scotland are in hospital with Covid - as research continues on new variants potentially having a greater effect on younger people.

Deputy First Minister and Covid Recovery Secretary John Swinney said numbers of children in Scottish hospitals are currently “on the high side” compared to before.

It comes after health secretary Humza Yousaf announced on Wednesday that ten children under the age of ten years old were admitted to hospital with Covid last week, around eight percent of the total number of admissions.

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The Scottish Government said it was unable to give any more information when asked how this compares to the number of children hospitalised previously during the pandemic, due to patient confidentiality.

Concern has been raised previously that the Delta variant of Covid may affect younger people more, although a proportional increase of younger people in hospital is to be expected as they are still unvaccinated.

Glasgow Times:

Mr. Swinney told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland: “If you go back over the last 12 months, relatively few children have been hospitalised as a consequence of Covid so we’re now seeing obviously a concentration of hospitalisation outwith the over-50s group because the overwhelming majority of that group are vaccinated and have some protection.

“The current numbers are on the high side, certainly over the period of Covid we’ve not seen very many children hospitalised but we’re seeing a number just now.

"So we have to look at all of these factors to determine is there something in the new variants that are emerging that is making it more acutely challenging for children with a greater health impact, and these are the issues that we keep under constant review and upon which we take clinical advice.”

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A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The information the health secretary referenced was preliminary data provided to track the impact of Covid-19 across Scotland.

"We continue to work closely with Public Health Scotland to develop data for reporting in the weekly Covid-19 statistical publication.”