JASON Leitch has explained why he believes Scotland has some of the worst Covid rates in Europe.

It was revealed in recent days that six Scottish health boards are among the top 10 worst-hit regions in Europe for Covid cases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

NHS Tayside has the highest rate, with 1,146 cases per 100,000 people.

Lothian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Fife, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire and Arran health boards are also in the top 10, along with north-east and north-west England.

READ MORE: Over half of Europe's top ten Covid spots are in Scotland WHO data shows

Scotland’s national clinical director, Jason Leitch, claims that a lack of “natural immunity” in the population has caused the spike in cases.

He told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “Scotland has had some of the highest numbers across the UK and Europe.

“A couple of reasons for ours – seeded in Delta is the fundamental reason, the virus is the reason.

“It’s got seeded into our biggest, dense city in Glasgow and we’ve got less natural immunity because we haven’t been at the top of this league table throughout the pandemic.

“It’s not a league table you want to top, and I want to get us off there as quick as we possibly can.”

He added that countries like Portugal are now facing challenges from the Delta variant, which was “a little bit slower to arrive in Western Europe”.

However, he added: “I’m afraid it’s coming, and you can see it just beginning to tick up and I fear that they’re going to have a big wave in the next few weeks”.

Virus expert Professor Hugh Pennington told the Scottish Sun the immunity claim would “only apply to people that haven’t had the vaccine” or the bug.

The Aberdeen University academic added most over-50s have now had two jabs, and pointed to outbreaks at unis last September which saw many youths infected.

He added: “You could say many young folk have been exposed to the virus quite substantially.

“Many will have had a natural infection from which they’ve recovered and they’ll now have antibodies lasting long enough to protect them at the current moment.”

Last week, Scotland broke the record for its highest number of new coronavirus cases in a day on three occasions.

Today it was announced that the number of drop-in vaccination centres is being expanded, with all mainland health boards now offering drop-in clinics.

Everyone aged 18 and over can attend for their first dose. People who had their first jab at least eight weeks before can attend for a second dose.