Forty nine more people die as fatal numbers exceeds 3000

Chief Constable Livingstone and FM Nicola Sturgeon.

By Bill Heaney

Coronavirus has claimed the lives of another 49 people in Scotland, edging the total number above the 3,000 mark.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the death toll of confirmed Covid-19 patients is 1811 by the measurement she uses daily, which does not include suspected cases of the virus. The actual number will be higher than that.

She added that there have been 225 new confirmed cases of coronavirus overnight, taking Scotland’s total to 13,149.  On a more positive note, she also revealed more than 3000 people who had coronavirus have been able to leave hospital since the outbreak began. Scotland-wide, however, overall hospital admissions for confirmed or suspected Covid-19 are down by three to 1584.  And the numbers in intensive care have fallen by two to 86.

Ms Sturgeon went on to set out Scotland’s current capacity for Covid-19 testing, which has risen to 10,000 tests per day – with the government targeting 12,000 by this time next week.

The Government has stressed a rigorous policy of mass “test, trace and isolate” (TTI) will be essential to ease lockdown measures, with officials believing a capacity of at least 15,500 tests per day is required.

The First Minister said guidance on the lockdown will be updated over the weekend and is likely to ease the restrictions over how much outdoor daily exercise is allowed.

This is less than expected following Downing Street briefings to the national press that sun bathing, golf and swimming would be allowed.

The First Minister will be angry with PM Boris Johnston’s advisers for briefing that because she favours the four corners of the UK acting together and at the same speed.

She brought in Chief Constable Iain Livingstone to reinforce her message that she has no intention of extending the restrictions here to match the aspirations of the Prime Minister.

However, she added: “We are not yet confident that the all-important R number is far enough below one.

“In fact we think the R number here in Scotland may be a bit higher than other parts of the UK.

“That’s why sticking with the lockdown measures at this stage is so important.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “For now my message to you remains the same: you must stay at home, please stay at home.

“Except for essential purposes such as exercise of buying food or medicines, you should not be going out.

“If you do go out you should be staying more than two metres from other people and you should not be meeting up with other households.

“You should wear a face covering if you are in a shop or on public transport and you should isolate completely if you or someone else in your household has symptoms.”

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