Death numbers down ten weeks in a row, says FM

By Democrat reporter

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today that 18,309 people now have tested positive for Covid-19, an increase of seven from yesterday.

There are 767 patients in hospital with a suspected or confirmed case (up 68), with 11 being treated in intensive care (up four).

One more person who tested positive has died in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 2,490 deaths in Scotland by that measure.

This is lower than the 4,173 deaths confirmed by NRS earlier as that figure includes all cases where Covid-19 is mentioned on a death certificate, even if the patient had not been tested.

She says 17 deaths were registered in the seven days up to Sunday, which is a decrease of 18 from the previous week.

This is the 10th consecutive week in which the number of deaths has fallen.

The first minister says deaths in care homes made up less than a quarter of all Covid deaths last week, reduced from 16 to four.

The total number of deaths from all causes was 40 below the average for this time of year, the second week in a row that it has been below the five-year average.

New analysis of deaths registered up to 14 June shows that deaths among people from the South Asian ethnic group were almost twice as likely to involve Covid-19 than deaths in the White ethnic group, after accounting for age group, sex, area deprivation and urban/rural classification.

This new data will be considered by the Covid and Ethnicity Expert Reference Group which meets tomorrow.

“Scotland has made real and sustained progress against this virus,” she added.

Tomorrow she will give an update at 12.20pm at Holyrood and she hopes to confirm Scotland can move to phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown.

Ms Sturgeon adds the health secretary will shortly outline some changes for those who are shielding.  These will come into effect at the end of this week.

The first minister says there are thousands in the shielded category for whom life remains extremely restricted right now.

Meanwhile, she spoke about international travel and the 14-day quarantine on arriving in Scotland from abroad.

Ms Sturgeon said many of the strands of Covid came to Scotland from overseas travel, in particular from mainland Europe.

No less than 4,173 people in Scotland have died since then, she added, pointing out “we should never forget the potential of this virus to do serious harm”.

“We must be aware that one of our biggest risk factors as we suppress the virus here is the importation of new cases to Scotland.

“That is illustrated by what is happening in Melbourne, where a new six-week lockdown is now in place, which may well be due to cases coming into Australia.”

Ms Sturgeon pointed out that to move to phase 3, the WHO demands the risk of importing or exporting cases must be managed.

She accepts international travel is important for the tourist sector and the aviation industry, which is why these decisions are difficult.

The first minister added that the UK government list of 59 countries and territories which would no longer face quarantine restrictions.

There are 39 countries that are low risk in the green category she says, with 20 in the amber group.

She said Scotland has a low prevalence of the virus; for every 100,000 people in Scotland, 28 have Covid. That’s a prevalence of 0.028%.

The prize of eliminating the virus in Scotland is “clearly attainable”.

FM confirms no quarantine if arriving from 39 countries from 10 July

The first minister said some amber countries have a prevalence rate lower than Scotland, but some like Spain have a far higher prevalence.

It’s more than 10 times greater than Scotland.

The UK’s four CMOs have agreed to look at risk and more targeted assessments for different countries should be available in the future.

She confirmed that from 10 July if you are travelling to Scotland from any of the 39 places the UK government has rated as green, you will not have to self-isolate on arrival in Scotland.

The UK government last week published a full list of countries for which quarantine will not apply to people arriving back in England.

Countries including Greece, Spain, France and Belgium are on the list, which comes into effect from 10 July.

But countries such as China, US, Sweden and Portugal are not, meaning arrivals from those have to isolate for 14 days.

The first minister said the quarantine requirements cannot be lifted for Spain or Serbia.

She hoped they can be lifted on 20 July, the next review point – “This has been a very difficult decision. However, it is an evidence-based decision.

“It is motivated only by a determination to protect Scotland as far as possible from a resurgence of the virus in the weeks ahead.”

‘You cannot get around the need to quarantine in Scotland by flying to or from an airport in England’

Ms Sturgeon said all countries are keeping these arrangements under review and are subject to change, so be aware of that if you have plans to travel.

Quarantine arrangements are being looked at – “You cannot get around the need to quarantine in Scotland by flying to or from an airport in England.”

The first minister pointed out that Public Health Scotland will have contact details of those in Scotland and will carry out sample checks.

Visitors to Scotland must follow the FACTS advice

The first minister stressed the need for everyone coming to Scotland to follow the public health advice in FACTS:

Face coverings in enclosed spaces

Avoid crowded places

Clean hands and surfaces regularly

Two metre distancing; and

Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms

Children in the household under 12 no longer need to distance from other children outside – as long as the other children are not shielding

Those living alone – or single parents – can form an extended household group with one other household, which means no distancing and overnight stays

You can book holiday accommodation or visit a second home – provided they do not have shared facilities.

Meet up with two other household’s outdoors – rather than the current one, although it is recommended no group contains more than eight people.  Use the toilet inside when on an outdoor visit.

One journalist, Nick Sheridan from BBC Scotland, asked how the government will know if people decide to fly into Portugal or France, then enter Spain and spend the week there, before flying back from Portugal or France.

Nicola Sturgeon stressed that “you can’t get round these quarantine arrangements by just deciding to fly from or to somewhere else”, and “nor should you try to get round them”.

She added: “They are here for a really good reason, to try to protect us as far as possible from a further spread of the virus.”

The FM said that even if people travel from, for example, Manchester, to Spain and then return home via there to Scotland, that information will be shared with Public Health Scotland, and the law will require people to quarantine here for 14 days.

“Hopefully we will change that in the not too distant future,” she added.

One comment

  1. Nicola and the Scottish Government are doing a good job squeezing out the virus.

    But when you have a dirty neighbour what do you do. The recent example of the father of the Prime Minister flying to Bulgaria to then fly into Greece to avoid COVID restrictions tells you all about your neighbour.

    Or Dominic Cummings or Prince Charles, there is a common link, and that link is that these elites don’t give a toss. They do what they want and bugger everyone else.

    And we, we the little people, we accept it.

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