SCOTLAND has recorded the highest number of Covid cases in a single day since the pandemic began.

The latest figures show that 16,857 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in the past 24 hours. This is around 1000 more than yesterday's total, which also broke the record for the most cases in a single day.

However, Public Health Scotland have said that high demand over the festive season has seen delays in the reporting of results.

Today's figure represents a massive 27.1% of the 71,612 Covid-19 test which reported results in the past 24 hours. 

It comes as a further nine deaths of people who had tested positive were recorded in the same time period.

This brings the total under this measure - of people who died within 28 days of testing positive - to 9845.

Across Scotland yesterday there were 810 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19. There were 34 people in intensive care.

In terms of the vaccination effort, 4,381,226 people have received their first dose, while 4,012,490 have also received a second dose.

A total of 2,944,977 people have received a third dose or "booster", with the Scottish Government involved in a push to get as many people as possible vaccinated before the New Year.

READ MORE: Scotland has third most successful vaccine booster programme in world

Reacting to the news, the First Minister called on Scots to remain vigilant over the New Year period.

She wrote: "Yet another record tally of reported cases in [Scotland] today - reflecting fact that Omicron is very, very infectious. 

"Likelihood of getting it just now if you mix with others is high. Tho remember - being boosted gives you significant protection against becoming v ill with it.

"Just as notable than cases is the steep rise in hospital occupancy, the largest single day increase in a while - a reminder that even if there is a lower % hospitalised through Omicron, sheer volume will still put acute pressure on NHS - and result in serious illness for many."

She added: "Concerning those these numbers are, they would be even higher but for good compliance with public health advice. 

"As we approach the New Year, I am appealing to everyone to keep following this advice - for you own sake and also to help the NHS."