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An ambulance crew wearing PPE making a call in West Dunbartonshire.

By Bill Heaney

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman confirmed the latest figures on coronavirus cases in Scottish hospitals today.

Ten more deaths have been announced in the past 24 hours and 367 more cases confirmed.

“These figures will be an under-estimate,” she stressed, given the low number of death registrations done over the weekend.

“They should be treated with some caution.”

Ms Freeman repeated all of the previous public health guidance, acknowledging that staying at home is “especially tough on sunny weekends” before adding that the restrictions “continue to be essential”.

Social distancing and regular hand washing were underscored by her.

“This is how we save lives,” she added, before confirming this morning’s arrival of a major consignment of PPE – of much needed personal protection equipment – from China.

Further information released by the Scottish government reveals that on Saturday, 18 April, there were:  7,415 calls to 111 and 193 calls to the Coronavirus Helpline.


The number of calls to 111 includes all calls, whether or not they relate to Covid-19.  1,451 Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) attendances, of which 404 were for suspected Covid-19. SAS took 250 people to hospital with suspected Covid-19

No less than 616 people are delayed in hospital. This is 996 less than the baseline period.

An initial target to reduce delays by 400 by the end of March and a further target of reducing by a further 500 by the end of April have now been met.

The NHS Louisa Jordan hospital will be able to open doors at the Scottish Exhibition Centre from Monday

“I hope this facility will not be needed,” said Jeane Freeman, above left,  as she announced that the NHS Louisa Jordan will ready to admit patients from tomorrow, should the temporary hospital in Glasgow be required.

Named after a Scottish nurse who died during the First World War, the site occupies the SEC’s massive exhibition halls, normally hosting large concerts and conferences.

It has been divided up into 1,036 individual bed bays and was built from scratch in three weeks.

The health secretary added that she is confident that it will not be needed in the “immediate future”.

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