FM Sturgeon reports emphasis on treatment switches to testing.

By Democrat reporter

A total of 18,077 positive cases have been confirmed, which is an increase of 11 from yesterday. A total of 929 patients are in hospital with Covid-19. That represents a total decrease of 36 from yesterday, including a decrease of six in the number of confirmed cases. A total of 23 people last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. That is a decrease of one since yesterday.

FM Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs at Holyrood today: “Unfortunately, I also have to report that, in the past 24 hours, two deaths have been registered of patients who had been confirmed through a test as having Covid-19. That takes the total number of deaths in Scotland, under that measurement, to 2,464.

“Those numbers, together with the figures that were published yesterday by National Records of Scotland, make clear the human cost of the virus. That human cost has been utterly devastating, and it should serve as a serious warning against any complacency as we move into the next phase of fighting what is a dangerous, and sadly often deadly, virus.

“However, the sustained decline in the number of people dying from the virus also demonstrates the real progress that we have made. Yesterday’s NRS data showed that the number of Covid deaths last week was less than one ninth of the peak level. The number of people in intensive care has fallen by more than 90 per cent since the peak, and hospital admissions, which at one stage were at 200 every day, are now down to single figures each day.

“The R number is currently below 1 and has been stable at between 0.6 and 0.9 for the past three weeks. We estimate that the number of people who could be infectious with coronavirus in Scotland as of last Friday was 2,900. I remind members and the public that three weeks ago our estimate, which has since been revised, was 19,000.

“The progress that we have made to date is clear and substantial. However, it has been made possible only because of the efforts and enormous sacrifices that people across Scotland have made. I am deeply grateful to each and every one for all of that.

“Taking account of that progress and the other evidence that we are required to assess, I am therefore pleased to confirm that the Scottish Government has concluded that we can now move into the next phase of our exit from lockdown. I will set out specifically what that means in a moment. However, I stress that we must still exercise care and caution. Our progress so far is because of lockdown. The virus has not gone away, and we must all remember that.

“As we gradually remove the restrictions that have kept the virus under control, there is a real risk that transmission could rise again. That is why, if we do not want to go backwards—as none of us do—we must progress carefully.”

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