By Democrat reporter

Since yesterday, an additional 17 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, which takes the total number to 18,597, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reported today.

A total of 260 patients are currently in hospital with confirmed Covid, which is the same number as yesterday.

As of last night, two people were in intensive care with confirmed Covid, which is the same number as yesterday.

In the past 24 hours, no deaths have been registered of patients who had been confirmed as having the virus.

The total number of deaths in Scotland under that daily measurement therefore remains at 2,491.

In fact, no deaths have been registered under that measurement for the past two weeks.

However, the First Minister warned, people must not lose sight of the fact that every death is a tragedy, and she sent her condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to the virus.

She added: “I also want to give a brief update on the identified cluster of cases in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. I can confirm that, as of now, eight positive cases have been confirmed.

“Those are linked to the M&D Green pharmacy in Port Glasgow and to an Amazon warehouse in Gourock. I thank those businesses for acting swiftly and for co-operating fully with the guidance and procedures to contain the cluster.

“An incident management team that is led by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde met yesterday afternoon, and it will meet again today. It is working with the Scottish Government, Health Protection Scotland and local environmental health teams to trace contacts and do everything possible to minimise onward transmission.

” I am very grateful for those efforts. We will, of course, provide more details as and when they become available.”

Ms Sturgeon also drew attention to an important announcement this morning by the four United Kingdom chief medical officers, which relates to a change in the advice for those people who test positive for Covid.

She said: ” Until now, people who test positive have been advised to isolate for seven days, but because it is thought that the infectious period can last longer, the advice now is that people who test positive should isolate for 10 days.

“Contacts of those who test positive should continue to isolate for 14 days, and the quarantine period for people who have travelled from non-exempt countries remains 14 days.

“The change affects only people who test positive. However, it is an important change to the guidance and is, therefore, one that everyone should be aware of.”

A Europa cruise ship sitting at the docks in Inverclyde, where there have been some of the worst outbreaks of Covid-19 in Scotland. Picture by Bill Heaney
Port Glasgow pharmacy

Meanwhile, a Port Glasgow pharmacy and an Amazon depot in Gourock are being linked to the cluster of cases in Inverclyde.

M&D Green managing director Martin Green said “some staff” at its John Wood Street branch had tested positive for Covid-19.

He said: “We have been working with Health Protection Scotland and environmental health officers, who are satisfied with the infection control measures we have in place and have immediately implemented the minor additional actions recommended.”

Mr Green added: “We have been reassured by the local outbreak management team that these measures allow us to continue to provide the full range of pharmaceutical services without any risk to the public.”

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