Scots will get test if they develop Covid-19 symptoms

Scotland's test, trace and isolate regime will go live on Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon said.

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If you develop Covid-19 symptoms you should seek to immediately book a test from Thursday, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Scotland’s system to test, trace and isolate all suspected coronavirus cases will go live in two days, the First Minister confirmed.

Sturgeon said the scheme, dubbed “test and protect”, will work alongside plans to begin gradually easing the lockdown from the end of this week.

From Thursday, anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus will be tested and their contacts traced and told to isolate for 14 days.

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A policy of testing all suspected cases of the virus was abandoned in March when all four nations of the UK moved to the second “delay phase” of its coronavirus strategy, against the advice of the World Health Organisation.

The First Minister said that from Thursday, if you develop symptoms you should book a test “straight away” through the NHS Inform website or by calling NHS 24’s coronavirus helpline 0800 028 2816.

Sturgeon said: “The aim of test and protect is to quickly identify cases of the virus and then act to break the chains of transmission.”

She described the new system as being “an extremely important tool for us in the months ahead”, adding: “It will help us suppress the virus as we slowly ease lockdown restrictions.”

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Public health software, already used to trace the contacts of those with other infectious diseases, has been scaled up, Sturgeon said.

This has now been trialled in Fife, Lanarkshire and the Highlands, and will be up and running in all health board areas by Thursday.

The Scottish Government had previously said testing capacity of over 15,000 tests a day would be needed for the new scheme to come into effect, a capacity that including NHS labs and others Sturgeon said had now been met.

She had also set the target of having 2000 contact tracers in place for the start of June, but stated it is currently estimated only 700 tracers would be needed initially.

The First Minister added that by the end of this month there would be “a pool of around 2000 to draw on if necessary”.

She said: “This is a system that will operate at a scale not seen before in Scotland.

“We have of course had testing and contact tracing before, but we are substantially increasing the scale.

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“Over the first couple of weeks it will need to bed down but introducing it at the same time as we take the first very cautious steps out of lockdown gives us the opportunity to address any operational issues ahead of a potentially more substantial easing of restrictions at the next review date in three weeks.”

The announcements on testing and tracing come ahead of Scotland likely entering “phase one” of its four-stage plan to exit lockdown on Friday, expected to allow outdoor meetings between people from two households provided they socially distance.

Some outdoor sports and activities like golf, tennis and fishing will be permitted, and outdoor-based businesses like construction firms and garden centres will be allowed to resume work.

Later on Tuesday, transport secretary Michael Matheson will also make a parliamentary statement on the Scottish Government’s plan for public transport as the lockdown begins to ease.

But reiterating current advice, the First Minister said: “For now, all of us must continue to stick with the lockdown measures.

“So please stay at home, for now, except for essential purposes.

“When you do leave the house, please stay at least two metres away from others and don’t meet up with people from households other than your own.

“You should wear a face covering if you’re in an enclosed space such as a shop or public transport, and that is one of the issues that will be covered in the transport transition plan that the transport secretary will outline in the Scottish Parliament later this afternoon.”

Demand for GP services ‘has never been higher in Scotland’

Tory MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane said he saw double the patients he would normally have seen in pre-pandemic times last week.

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Tory MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane said demand for GP services is 'unsustainable' as Covid cases continue to rise.

The demand for GP services is “unsustainable” as Covid cases continue to rise across Scotland, claims one NHS doctor.

Dr Sandesh Gulhane, shadow cabinet secretary for health, said he saw double the amount of patients he would normally have seen in pre-pandemic times last week.

Speaking on The Sunday Show, the Glasgow MSP said: “The demand for GPs has never been higher.

“On Monday, I had 80 patient contacts in general practice. That’s not safe, that’s not sustainable, but it’s the level of demand we’re facing.”

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He added: “Pre-Covid you would have about 20 patients in the morning, and you’d have about 15 to 20 in the afternoon.

“And that’s sort of the levels that we would want to be working to, so it’s almost doubled the demand, and the telephones are ringing off the hook.”

Dr Gulhane said patients need to be flowing through NHS services again to help with the current demand.

“We need operations to start again, we need patients being seen in clinics,” he said.

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“We’re struggling to treat them (patients) and all the new patients that are coming to us, so we need to get that flow going.”

Dr Gulhane said one of the main problems behind the backlog of patients was the lack of anaesthetists in hospitals.

He said the Scottish Government needs to make more of an effort to come up with a “strategic recruitment plan” to hire more anaesthetists to assist with appointments in clinics and hospitals.

On Friday senior surgeon Professor Michael Griffin, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said the majority of the issues in Scotland’s hospitals and the knock-on effect to the ambulance service are not due to Covid.

Prof Griffin warned Scotland has “a real workforce problem in the NHS and in social care” that needs to be addressed and it is causing a “vicious circle” impacting all parts of the health service.

He told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme that increasing numbers of Covid cases and infected patients in hospitals are adding to the “very, very complex problem” facing the health service – including under-pressure paramedics.

It comes after the Scottish Government officially requested help from the army to support the ambulance service amid deteriorating response times.

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The comments appear to contradict Nicola Sturgeon’s insistence that the crisis in the ambulance service is “largely caused by the Covid pressure” and it is “the latest in a number of significant challenges posed to us as a result of this pandemic”.


Three men killed and five injured in M8 motorway crash

The westbound carriageway was closed near junction 31 following crash early on Sunday morning.

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Police investigating fatal road crash in Renfrewshire.

Three men have died after their car left the M8 motorway and crashed early on Sunday morning.

The men, two aged 27 and one aged 31, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Five other men were taken to hospital for treatment of serious but non-life threatening injuries.

The incident happened at around 5.05am on Sunday, when a blue Audi Q7 left the road on the M8 westbound near to junction 31 in Renfrewshire.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection with road traffic offences.

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Inspector Darren Cook, of Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit, said: “Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of those who have lost their lives as a result of this crash.

“Our enquiries are currently ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident and we are seeking assistance from the public to help with our investigation.

“Although this happened in the early hours of the morning, we believe there may be other road users that can help with our enquiry.

“I would ask if you were driving in the area around the time of the incident or have possible dashcam footage that you come forward and speak to officers.

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“Police can be contacted by calling 101 and quoting incident number 0860 of Sunday, 19 September, 2021.”

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Only Fools And Horses star John Challis dies aged 79

The actor cancelled a 30-date speaking tour earlier this month after only one appearance due to ill health.

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Only Fools And Horses star John Challis has died.

Only Fools And Horses star John Challis has died from cancer at the age of 79, his family has said.

He was best-known for his portrayal of unscrupulous second-hand car dealer Boycie in the beloved sitcom, alongside Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

He cancelled a 30-date speaking tour earlier this month after only one appearance due to ill health.

A statement from his family to the PA news agency said: “It is with heavy hearts that we bring you such sad news.

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“Our dear friend and yours, John Challis, has died peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer.

“He will always be loved for being ‘Boycie’ and leaves a great legacy of work that will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come.

“Please respect the privacy of John’s family and friends at this difficult time, and be assured that in the future there will be an occasion to celebrate John’s life – when everyone will be welcome to come along.”

Challis played Terrance Aubrey Boyce in Only Fools And Horses from 1981 to 2003, as well as in Boycie-focused spin-off show The Green Green Grass.

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He recently became an honorary citizen of Serbia, where the BBC sitcom remains hugely popular.

Challis made the documentary Boycie In Belgrade, exploring why the show was so beloved in the Balkan country.

Boycie, a cigar-smoking businessman with a mocking laugh, was married to the feisty Marlene – played by Sue Holderness – and regularly butted heads with Sir David’s Del Boy.

Challis was also known for playing Monty Staines in ITV sitcom Benidorm.

His family have requested that instead of flowers, donations are made to his favoured animal charities – Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.


Celtic slip up on the road again as Shinnie secures Livingston win

Livingston moved off the foot of the table after stunning Celtic.

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Andrew Shinnie produces a clinical finish to sink Celtic.

Andrew Shinnie’s first-half strike consigned Celtic to a sixth defeat in seven away games under Ange Postecoglou as their poor record at Livingston continued.

Shinnie got across Stephen Welsh and fired the only goal into the top corner in the 25th minute to earn Livi their first cinch Premiership win of the season and take them off the bottom of the table.

The touch and finish was the sort of quality Celtic lacked in the final third as they failed to make their possession and territory count and went five games without victory at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Celtic got a number of crosses into the box but home centre-backs Ayo Obileye and Jack Fitzwater marshalled striker Albian Ajeti as the visitors ended the day in sixth place.

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Postecoglou handed Boli Bolingoli a recall as the left-back played for the first time since he breached quarantine rules at Kilmarnock on August 9 last year, days after a secret trip to Spain.

Celtic had Liel Abada back on the right wing after he missed the Europa League defeat by Real Betis but were still missing a number of regulars including skipper Callum McGregor.

James McCarthy was handed his first Celtic start while Anthony Ralston was rested as Josip Juranovic moved over to his natural right-back position. Welsh replaced the absent Carl Starfelt in central defence.

Livingston started with five in midfield including three natural left-backs and on-loan Rangers player Ben Williamson, with Shinnie handed the lone striker role.

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Home skipper Nicky Devlin received a yellow card within the first minute and team-mates Jason Holt and Adam Lewis joined him in the book during the first quarter as Celtic dominated.

For all Celtic’s possession, Max Stryjek’s biggest worry during this spell was when he fumbled an overhit cross from Bolingoli.

Joe Hart made his first save from Jackson Longridge’s long-range strike but he was beaten a minute later when Shinnie met the left-back’s low cross and finished from 14 yards.

Celtic still struggled to test Stryjek. David Turnbull shot wide after a loose ball flashed towards him and Cameron Carter-Vickers twice headed off target.

The hosts came close to doubling their lead just before the break when Fitzwater volleyed a Lewis free-kick but Hart threw out a hand to divert it over.

Stryjek was busier early in the second half, stopping Welsh’s header on the line and getting down to hold Turnbull’s long-range effort.

But the game soon went back to the first-half pattern with Celtic playing in the Livingston half but unable to carve out chances.

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Ajeti finally got a couple of opportunities as the game entered the final 20 minutes, heading wide from six yards following a corner and forcing an excellent stop from Stryjek after getting the ball to feet on the edge of the box and turning his man.

Postecoglou made three changes in between those opportunities but his only attacking option was Mikey Johnston, who came on for his first appearance of the season following injury, in place of Tom Rogic.

Stryjek parried from Turnbull but Livi came closer when Hart touched substitute Alan Forrest’s angled drive past the post.

The Hoops continued to push but their final threat came when Carter-Vickers shot wide from 25 yards. 


‘Racist and sectarian’ singing at Orange marches condemned by police

Arrests made as chief superintendent says some attendees were intent on 'causing offence and stirring up hatred'.

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Outbreaks of “racist and sectarian singing” by people attending Orange Order processions through Glasgow have been condemned by police.

Officers say they made several arrests as thousands of people marched in the city on Saturday.

Crowds lined the city centre, including on George Street and West George Street, and there was a large police presence at Glasgow Green where members of the parades gathered in the afternoon.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Orange parades in the city and follows the cancellation of the biggest annual event – commemorating the Battle of the Boyne – the past two years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Chief superintendent Mark Sutherland, divisional commander for Greater Glasgow, said some people in attendance were intent on “causing offence and stirring up hatred by singing unacceptable sectarian and racist songs”.

He said: “We are aware that on a number of occasions today there have been outbreaks of racist and sectarian singing by some of those attending to support the Orange Order processions, this is utterly unacceptable and we completely condemn this behaviour.

“Where possible, we are seeking to take action against those intent on causing harm and dividing our communities, we have already made arrests in connection with various offences and will continue to do so where required. With large crowds gathering today, our main priority has been public safety and to ensure minimum disruption to the wider public.

“Once again, we see a number of people intent in causing offence and stirring up hatred by singing unacceptable sectarian and racist songs, I want to again condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms.

“It is clear that sectarianism remains a serious, ongoing problem in Scotland and whilst policing has an important role in tackling this type of behaviour, this is a collective problem and needs to be addressed in a collective, collaborative manner.”

Earlier this week, Glasgow’s police chief warned the force will not tolerate “offensive behaviour, including hate crimes, drunkenness and disorder” and urged the “large majority” who behave in the “right way” to influence those around them.

Jim McHarg, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, told STV News: “As per normal, our members behave in the right manner and always have done and always will do.

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“Everyone in the parade shows respect to every part of the community and all we ask for is the people who come along to support understand that, and indeed the people who object to our existence – that they respect us.”

But the Church of Scotland took to Twitter as the marches took place to condemn anti-Catholic bigotry.

It said: “The Church of Scotland opposes anti-Catholic bigotry and sectarianism. We have a very close working relationship with the Roman Catholic Church.

“Over the years we have worked together to tackle sectarianism and support one another.

“We speak to leaders in the Roman Catholic Church every week and greatly appreciate the friendship that exists between our churches and our communities.”

Up to 800 police officers were deployed to manage Saturday’s event, which saw marches proceed through the city centre and past Catholic churches.

Following an assault on a Catholic priest in July 2018, marches were re-routed to avoid passing St Alphonsus church on London Road in 2019.

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Members of Call It Out, a campaign group that opposes anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bigotry, were spotted holding “peaceful vigils” outside churches on the routes.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We are calling on all Glasgow citizens, trade unionists, anti-racists, equality campaigners and those opposed to egregious manifestations of anti-Catholic hatred to join us in peaceful protest in response to the imposition of these marches by anti-Catholic organisations.”

Hundreds gather to celebrate final day of Hindu festival

Colourful celebrations at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park as Indians living in the city showcase their culture.

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Hundreds of people have gathered in a Glasgow park to celebrate the final day of a Hindu festival.

The event has been run by Glasgow Indians for the last decade.

Organisers say it’s a chance to celebrate and sustain their culture, and share with family who still live back in India.

Abhijeet Chavan of Glasgow Indians told STV News the celebration helps bring communities together.

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He said: “People can come here, they can celebrate and back home, their parents and their relatives can see that, you know, the culture is going on.

“Glasgow is a city that says ‘Glasgow loves culture’ and ‘People make Glasgow’ so that is the reason, this helps us.

“We really love Glasgow and Glasgow allows us to celebrate our culture right and it is open to everyone.”

Man dies in paragliding crash as woman suffers serious injuries

The 54-year-old lost his life in the collision near Loch Na Gainmhich by the A894 shortly before 4:45pm on Saturday.

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Man dies in paragliding incident.

A man has died following a paragliding crash in the Highlands.

The 54-year-old lost his life in the collision near Loch Na Gainmhich by the A894 shortly before 4:45pm on Saturday.

Police also confirmed a woman has been left seriously injured as a result of the crash.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a 54-year-old man has died and a woman has been seriously injured following a collision involving two paramotors yesterday afternoon.

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“Police were informed about the incident near Loch Na Gainmhich by the A894 shortly before 4:45pm and enquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing.

“The next of kin of those involved have been informed.”


Body found near Loch Lomond as police probe ‘unexplained’ death

Discovery of man's body was made in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, at around 11am on Sunday morning.

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Police investigating after man's body found near Loch Lomond.

The body of a man has been found near one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations.

The discovery was made near Loch Lomond at about 11am on Sunday in Balloch Road, Balloch, West Dunbartonshire.

Officers have launched a probe into the death, which is currently being treated as unexplained.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The death is currently being treated as unexplained and inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.

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“Emergency services remain in the area.”

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Scotland records two Covid deaths and 3833 new cases overnight

Scottish Government daily figures show 100 people are receiving intensive care in hospital.

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Covid: Scotland's latest statistics.

Scotland has recorded two further Covid related deaths and 3833 new cases in the past 24 hours.

The latest figures mean the daily positivity rate currently stands at 9.1% a slight increase from Saturday’s statistics.

The death toll under the daily measure of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days is now 8378.

A total of 100 people are in intensive care with recently confirmed Covid-19, up one from the day before, and 1074 Covid patients are in hospital overall.

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So far, 4,155,048 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,806,980 have received their second dose.


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