Coronavirus: 38 more deaths in Scotland as cases rise by 689

More than 1000 people are currently in hospital receiving treatment for Covid-19, the First Minister has confirmed.

Coronavirus: 38 more deaths in Scotland as cases rise by 689 Getty Images

A further 38 people have died in Scotland after being diagnosed with coronavirus, the First Minister has confirmed.

Total confirmed cases of the virus has risen to 108,438 – a jump of 689 in the past 24 hours.

The official death toll in Scotland currently stands at 4173, however weekly figures on suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is now at least 6154 – which takes into account this week’s additional deaths.

According to management information reported by NHS boards across Scotland, 1031 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 – an increase of 35 overnight. Out of those, 49 patients are in intensive care.

Of the new cases reported on Wednesday, 140 are in Lothian, 109 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 92 are in Lanarkshire and 91 are in Ayrshire and Arran.

The rest of the cases are spread out across eight other health board areas.

At the Scottish Government’s daily Covid-19 briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said updated guidance on the relaxation of the Christmas rules would be issued later in the day.

She explained four nations talks had happened “because in parts of the UK cases are rising again and in some parts of the UK rising quite rapidly”.

She said case levels in Scotland were “at the moment lower than in other nations” but stressed the need to consider the “evolving situation”.

She said: “The pragmatic considerations that led us to agree some limited flexibility over Christmas have not gone away.

“We recognise in some cases the isolation caused by being alone over Christmas will in itself cause harm to people’s welfare and we understand that some people will simply not be prepared to leave loved ones alone over the whole Christmas period, and especially on Christmas Day.”

At the same time as Sturgeon’s briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs that the four UK nations had agreed to continue “in principle” with the easing of the coronavirus restrictions over Christmas.

Sturgeon also revealed that the Protect Scotland mobile phone app had “incorrectly” advised some people to self-isolate.

People who were advised to self-isolate for ten days between a minute after midnight on Monday, December 14 and 8.30am on Tuesday, December 15 should speak to a specialist contact tracer to find out if they still needed to do this, she said.

Sturgeon said that during that 32-and-a-half hour period it would be normal to expect the app to notify about 250 people to self-isolate.

But she stated: “Nine hundred notifications were issued and we have realised this was because during an upgrade to the app it was configured in an overly sensitive way during that period.”

She said this problem had been “fixed” but said: “It does mean some people will have received notifications in that period who do not actually need to self-isolate.”

She said anyone notified to self-isolate over the period concerned should call the National Contact Tracing Centre on 0800 030 8012 and speak to a specialised contact tracer to determine if this is required.

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