First Minister Sturgeon, CMO Calderwood and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.
By Bill Heaney
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told her daily media conference there have been 1,059 case of coronavirus in Scotland – up 165 since yesterday. There were 72 Covid case in intensive care, she said. There have been a further eight deaths that takes the total to 33 in Scotland.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood said yesterday that there were between 40,000 and 50,000 in Scotland with the coronavirus.
“While it is dangerous to go day by day, I want to really emphasise that I would now be estimating that there are more than 65,000 people in Scotland infected,” she said.
The chief medical officer said she stood on her doorstep at 8pm last night like many other people and clapped for the NHS and its workers.
Ms Calderwood said: “Twitter tells me that is the first time I’ve been seen smiling for quite some time. I felt very emotional and very proud to be part of the NHS.”
Nicola Sturgeon says she was encouraged to see the chief medical officer smile.
The First Minister praised NHS staff and said the show of solidarity with workers was much appreciated, but she said the best way to support the NHS is to stay at home and self-isolate.
She added that this was the first weekend since lockdown and people would be itching to get out.
“It is vital all of us stick with this,” she said.
Ms Sturgeon announced £3.8m extra funding for NHS mental health support services.
She said people should look at the NHS inform website for details or helplines and services.
Gowning up with protection kit that’s in short supply in Scotland.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman outlined new NHS Mental Health funding support.
She said the extra £3.8m allows the NHS to “scale-up” the mental health hub to 24-hour cover.
“It will also boost the telephone and webchat helpline Breathing Space,” she said.
She said everyone needed to continue self-isolation to ensure we have the best chance of tackling the outbreak.
“The collective national endeavour is helping to slow down the spread of this virus, protect the NHS and save lives,” she said.
The first minister said she knows it is tough for young people to be stuck in the house but she asked them to stick with it and find new fun things to do to amuse themselves.
She also said they should phone their grandparents – “I’m sure they would really appreciate it.”
The first minister says the police were being put under pressure by the pandemic and were doing an exceptional job. They now have new powers to enforce the lockdown rules.
Ms Sturgeon added: “My fervent hope and belief is that the police will not have to enforce these rules very often.”
There are concerns that self-employed people will have to wait until June to get the support announced by the UK government yesterday.
“We hope they will speed up that support if possible, although I do recognise the scale of what they are trying to do,” she said.