Amid rising infection rates around Scotland, hospital Covid admissions have been increasing, putting extra strain on hospitals which are staggering back to more normal service.
With Covid more prevalent within society, staff members are inevitably having to isolate.
This, in turn, means there is fewer people available to cover shifts and sort out the backlog in procedures the NHS is facing.
In addition, with many starting to see patients from last year, they’re just as busy as they were peak pandemic, meaning they can’t cope with the sudden increase in demand.
Profesor Nick Fluck, medical director at NHS Grampian, said: “This is a dynamic situation, subject to change throughout each day.