MORE than half of Scots are believed to have contracted Covid-19 over a period of almost 18 months during the pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said an estimated 2.7 million people in Scotland – the equivalent of 51.5% of the population – have had the virus at some point between September 22, 2020, and February 11 this year. 

Details of the research, from the ONS’s ongoing coronavirus infection survey, were released as separate data showed the proportion of Scots believed to have the virus had fallen again over the last week.

It is estimated that 281,400 people – the equivalent of one in 19 of the population in Scotland – had coronavirus in the week ending Saturday, April 16, the ONS stated.

That compares to the one in 11 Scots who were said to have Covid in the week ending March 20.

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Duncan Cook, the deputy director for the Covid-19 infection survey at the ONS, said the latest weekly figures had shown a “welcome decrease in infections across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland”, while there was a drop in infection levels in Wales “for the first time in several weeks”.

But Mr Cook added: “Despite the decrease in infections, it’s important to note that levels remain high. We continue to monitor these going forward."