Transgender reforms ‘can be completed before 2021 election’

Scottish ministers are 'determined' to press ahead with proposals despite a backlash from within their own party.

Plans to make it easier and quicker for people to change their gender could be approved before next year’s election, the cabinet secretary responsible for the reforms has said.

Shirley-Anne Somerville said the Scottish Government is “determined” to press ahead with the controversial proposals, which include removing the requirement to provide medical evidence to a panel before you can switch gender.

The draft legislation would also lower the minimum age of applicants from 18 to 16, and reduce the time an applicant has to spend in their new gender before being legally recognised from two years to six months.

Speaking to STV’s Scotland Tonight, with around a month to go of a public consultation on the government’s plans, Somerville insisted she aims to build “maximum consensus” around them.

The draft Bill would keep the stipulation that applicants must make a solemn statutory declaration they have been living in their acquired gender for three months and intend to do so permanently.

A minimum three-month period of reflection between applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and confirming the application would also be introduced as part of the draft legislation.

It would mean applicants must have lived in their acquired gender for a minimum of six months before a certificate is granted – just a quarter of the time people have to wait under the current system.

The Scottish Government insists its proposals are in line with international best practice, but stalled its plans last summer to conduct further consultation amid controversy and resistance, including from within its own ranks.

Chief among the concerns of opponents is that a system of so-called self-identitication, or self ID, will be abused by predatory men to get into women’s spaces, with examples frequently cited including women’s toilets and prisons.

But Somerville said there had been “a lot of misunderstandings” – raised alongside legitimate concerns and questions – about the government’s proposals.

‘We have women’s rights and we have trans rights – I don’t see those aspects as mutually exclusive.’

Shirley-Anne Somerville

She told STV: “I absolutely appreciate that women’s rights are exceptionally important.

“They have been long-fought for and long-campaigned on and there is absolutely nothing I would do as a member of this government to jeopardise any of that.

“So that’s why I really do make sure that I listen to the concerns that are out there on the issue, because we not only want to protect what we have as women but we want to make sure our rights are extended.”

She added: “We have women’s rights and we have trans rights – I don’t see those aspects as mutually exclusive.”

The minister emphasised the legal right of people to change gender has been enshrined in law since Westminster passed the 2004 Gender Recognition Act.

“That right has to exist. We are required to have that and I think that’s quite right,” Somerville added.

She continued: “What we’re talking about here isn’t something that’s new. These people are in our community, they’re part of our community.

“But they talk to us very specifically about how the current system deeply impacts on them, about the state of their mental health and particularly the high suicide rates within the trans community because they can’t be recognised for who they are.”

Somerville added: “These may be a small number of people in our Scottish population but their rights are very important.”

Shirley-Anne Somerville Scotland Tonight interview for February 20 2020.
Reforms: Shirley-Anne Somerville says she will press ahead.

The cabinet secretary pledged to “move forward” with the government’s plans despite accepting they had “generated a lot of heat”, and urged people with an interest to contribute to the consultation which ends on March 17.

Asked if the legislation would be passed by the end of this parliament, Somerville answered: “Yes – it can be done in time for next year’s election.”

But one vocal opponent of the plans within the government’s own backbench ranks, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, claims the measures are “ideological”.

McAlpine said: “It’s a really profound change because you’re expanding the group of people who can change their sex from a small group of people who have gender dysphoria, which is diagnosed, to a much larger group of people who have no medical diagnosis and who could be changing sex for all sorts of reasons.

“It’s an ideological move, not an administrative move. 

“We’re just saying this change in the law which says sex is a feeling in your head is unscientific, wrong and dangerous.”

But the Scottish Government officially has support for the principle of self ID from all of Holyrood’s opposition parties except the Scottish Conservatives, despite notable internal divisions on the issue within Scottish Labour.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “Those battles are not going to be won for progressive values if we see the equality movement fragmented.

“We know that there are forces, particularly on the religious right, who see this issue of trans people’s rights as a wedge to fragment and split an equality movement that is too strong for them to oppose when we are united. 

“To see some of the rhetoric that I remember so weirdly from the 80s and 90s, from the Section 28 era, it was directed at gay men, lesbians, bisexual people in those days.

“It is now being directed at trans people with exactly the same venom, and it’s being done in a way that risks fragmenting our community.”

Analysis: ‘This debate has sparked bitter divisions’

By STV political correspondent Ewan Petrie

Few measures have provoked the levels of division, anger and abuse as plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act.

This is a debate that has polarised opinion and split campaign groups.  

It is also one where abuse has become a prominent feature. 

Much of it is online. Both sides say they are on the receiving end, and both sides condemn it.

It has also become a highly sensitive political issue, with the proposals seeing bitter divisions within different parties – including the SNP which is pushing forward the reforms.

Around 50 of its members set up the Women’s Pledge last year to uphold women’s rights.

It has the support of senior members, who are urging the First Minister not to rush ahead with the plans.

If the new bill becomes law, Scotland would follow countries like Argentina, Malta, Canada and Ireland which have adopted self-identity systems, while changes to the law in England and Wales are being considered.

A public consultation on the proposals ends next month    

The Scottish Government would then have to have legislation passed within the next year if it is to avoid this becoming an election issue next May.  

‘The current system is offensive and intrusive’

James Morton from Scottish Trans Alliance.
James Morton: Transitioned in the 1990s.

James Morton began his transition as a teenager in the 1990s, before legal rights protecting trans people were put in place.

It was also back when Section 28 was still in force and prevented teachers from providing any information on LGBT issues.

He went on to manage the charity the Scottish Trans Alliance.

“I’m one of the people who has applied for a GRC and I found it really offensive and really stressful trying to get that birth certificate changed,” said James.

“It just felt really humiliating to give that to a panel of strangers for them to decide if I was distressed enough to merit getting my birth certificate changed.”

“What we are asking for is for it to be closer in alignment to how you change your passport – and not have the same level of intrusive medical evidence and psychiatric reports and length of time you have to wait from when you’ve changed everything else.”

‘Trans community is being damaged by self-ID’

Trans woman Seven Hex on Scotland Tonight February 20 2020.
Diagnosis: Trans woman Seven Hex believes medical process helped her.

Seven Hex transitioned more than 10 years ago.

She feels the removal of a medical diagnosis for people going through the gender recognition process robs them of the chance to have other underlying issues addressed.

“For me the medical process was very appropriate.  It worked for me, and I don’t see there is anything particularly wrong with it,” Seven said. 

“The original Gender Recognition Act was specifically written for and made for transsexual people, and now that’s being carved up to include anyone and everyone. 

“There has been a huge resistance to this and rightly so. 

“Self ID isn’t even law and yet many principles are currently in practice. 

“We can’t then as transsexuals, with this transgender umbrella over us, escape the criticism.

“We take that flak too, and our reputation has been and is being damaged by self ID and its proponents who seek to use transsexuals as the gateway to legitimise what they have done.”

‘Sixteen is too young to decide to permanently switch gender’

Detransitioner Sinead Watson on Scotland Tonight February 20 2020.
Detransitioner: Sinead Watson is trying to reverse gender switch.

Sinead Watson transitioned to male in her early 20s, believing it would solve many of her issues.

But after a few years living as Sean, she realised she had made a mistake and is now trying to reverse the process.

“I’m not just speaking for myself at this point any more, I’m talking to a lot of other detransitioners,” Sinead told STV.

“There are people who can be so certain in their 20s or their 30s who can still make a mistake. 

“The idea that a 16-year-old can sign statutory declarations saying that they intend to permanently live as their acquired gender – I mean, they’re not old enough to smoke, they’re not old enough to drink. 

“I find it really concerning that they would deem a 16-year-old emotionally mature and developed enough to have the foresight to say they are going to identify this way for the rest of their lives.”

She added: “I can’t undo what the testosterone has done to me, I can’t undo the double mastectomy. 

“I’m only 29 and I need to live with this for the rest of my life, so there is bitterness.”

For more on this debate, tune into Scotland Tonight at 7.30pm on Thursday.

Salmond trial accusers voice devastation at verdict

The nine women said they hope society can move forward in its understanding of sexual harassment.

Getty Images
Alex Salmond: Former FM arriving at court during his trial.

The women involved in the criminal case against Alex Salmond have said they are “devastated” after the former first minister was cleared of all the charges against him.

In a statement released on Sunday, the nine women said they hope society can move forward in its understanding of sexual harassment.

They added that demeaning, intimidating and humiliating behaviour should not be seen as trivial or tolerated.

On Monday, a jury found Salmond not guilty of 12 charges and one charge against him was found not proven.

The women insisted that while the experience of taking the case to court had been “traumatic”, it had been the “right thing to do”.

In a joint statement, the nine women said: “While we are devastated by the verdict, we will not let it define us.

“We hope through shining a light on our experiences, it will serve to protect and empower women in the future.”

Their statement, issued by the charity Rape Crisis Scotland, added: “Today we want to send a strong and indisputable message that such behaviours should not be tolerated – by any person, in any position, under any circumstances.”

The women spoke out almost a week after the former SNP leader was cleared of the 13 charges he had been facing, including an allegation of attempted rape, by a jury at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The complainers, who were identified in the trial only as Woman A, Woman B, Woman C, Woman D, Woman F, Woman G, Woman H, Woman J, and Woman K, said: “The jury has delivered a majority verdict on the charges brought against the former first minister.

“We are devastated by the verdict. However it is our fervent hope that as a society we can move forward in our understanding of sexual harassment and sexual assault.”

They recalled that Mr Salmond’s lawyer, Gordon Jackson QC, had quoted Woman H and said “his client should have been a ‘better man’.”

In her evidence to the court, Woman H had said: “I wish for my life the first minister was a better man and I was not here.”

In his closing speech, Mr Jackson told the jury: “If in some ways the former first minister had been a better man, I wouldn’t be here, you wouldn’t be here, none of us would be here.”

But he went on to argue the case against Salmond “stinks”, saying it comes from “this political bubble with no real independent support”.

In their statement, the women said: “Many of us did speak up at the time of our incidents but were faced with procedures that could not deal with complaints against such a powerful figure.

“Others were silenced by fear of repercussions.

“It was our hope, as individuals, that through coming forward at this time we could achieve justice and enact change.

“We remain firm in our belief that coming forward to report our experiences and concerns was the right thing to do.

“But it is clear we alone cannot achieve the change we seek.”

They added: “All people should feel safe, valued and equal in society and their workplace and it is imperative to ensure robust complaint structures are in place.”

Alex Salmond declined to comment.

Coronavirus: Seven more deaths in Scotland takes total to 40

The death toll from Covid-19 in Scotland has risen to 40 from 33 while there are 1245 cases - up 186.

Getty Images
Coronavirus: Message to drivers on M8.

The death toll from coronavirus in Scotland has risen by seven in the last 24 hours, taking total patient deaths to 40.

Confirmed Scottish cases of Covid-19 have increased by 186 in a day to 1245, the Scottish Government also confirmed.

A total of 13,133 tests on patients in Scotland have been concluded, with 11,888 people testing negative.

Cases in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area have jumped by 77 since Friday to stand at 376.

Source: Scottish Government

NHS Lanarkshire has reported a rise of 25 cases, up to 165, and NHS Lothian is up 12 cases to 151, while NHS Tayside is unchanged on 107.

Fourteen more cases have been found in Forth Valley, taking the health board’s total to 95, and there are 15 more in Ayrshire and Arran, taking total patients to 90.

There are 60 cases in Dumfries and Galloway, up 13, 52 in the Grampian area, up seven, and 51 in Fife, up ten.

NHS Highland has 36, a rise of three since Friday, NHS Borders has 35, an increase of seven, and NHS Shetland has 27, a rise of three.

No cases have been reported by NHS Orkney or NHS Western Isles.

Meanwhile, the UK Government reported that as of 5pm on Friday, 1019 people diagnosed with the virus in the UK have died – up 260 in the last 24 hours, a rise of more than a third.

As of 9am on Saturday, there are 17,089 patients with coronavirus in the UK.

These figures are highly likely to be underestimates.

More to follow

SNP urges UK ministers to ‘hit pause’ on Brexit talks

The UK Government should seek to extend the transition period to focus on tackling Covid-19, the SNP said.

Brexit: UK 'can't continue hurtling to deadline'.

The SNP is urging the UK Government to “hit pause” on Brexit negotiations and seek an extension to the transition period to focus on the coronavirus pandemic.

The party’s Brexit spokeswoman, MP Philippa Whitford, said it would be irresponsible and “an act of economic and social self-harm” to continue “hurtling” towards the transition deadline.

Post-Brexit talks with the European Union will continue this week despite the UK and much of the continent being on a coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove will co-chair discussions via video conference as the two sides look at implementing what is in the Withdrawal Agreement once the transition period ends, which is due to happen on December 31.

Dr Whitford called on the UK Government to immediately seek an extension to the transition period.

She said: “The Covid-19 outbreak has gripped us all – regardless of politics or borders – and it is vital that governments here in the UK and abroad work collaboratively to combat the pandemic.

“Businesses, individuals and households across the UK are already under intense pressure and financial strain in dealing with the crisis – with many losing their incomes and a significant number of businesses facing an uncertain future.

“It is impossible for businesses and others to prepare for life outside the EU while coping with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis at the same time, and many might struggle to survive the second blow of a hard Brexit at the end of this year.

“Continuing talks and hurtling towards the transition period deadline would be irresponsible and an act of economic and social self-harm.

“It is now vital that the UK Government hits pause on all Brexit negotiations and immediately seeks an extension to the transition period to remove the uncertainty and instability.”

Downing Street has continued to insist that the government will not ask to have the end-of-the-year deadline for a trade deal to be reached put back.

When asked about a possible extension to the transition period on Friday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “In terms of the timetable, there is no change from our point of view.”

Dr Whitford urged the UK Government to mirror the example of the Scottish Government, who have postponed planning for an independence referendum in 2020 due to the pandemic.

She said: “The SNP Scottish Government made the difficult but responsible decision to pause work on preparing for an independence referendum this year.

“The UK Government must now mirror that step so that we can focus on protecting our citizens and delivering financial support to everyone in society.”

The UK Government has been asked for comment.

Fresh support for victims amid fears of Covid-19 crime wave

The £100,000 fund will be administered by charity Victim Support Scotland.

Getty Images
Humza Yousaf: Impact on victims can be long-lasting.

The Scottish Government is to boost a fund for victims due to fears for vulnerable people and a rise in crime during the coronavirus pandemic.

The £100,000 fund will be administered by Victim Support Scotland (VSS).

The charity already provides financial support totalling £30,000 a year through the Scottish Government-backed victims’ fund.

That will now be topped up, allowing victims, including those supported by other organisations, to access assistance worth up to £3000.

The cash was made available after victims’ organisations raised fears for vulnerable people during the Covid-19 outbreak.

One victims’ charity is predicting a rise in crime including fraud, cybercrime, stalking and domestic, child and elderly abuse.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said that the impact of crime on victims can be be long-lasting “even before we consider the understandable anxiety that they will be feeling, along with most of us, about the coronavirus outbreak”.

He said: “While overall crime, including non-sexual violent crime, has fallen substantially over the last decade, we know that those living in our most disadvantaged communities are more likely to experience crime.

“That is why I’ve decided to increase our investment in the victims’ fund and help deliver a range of goods and services which are likely to be required by the most vulnerable victims during the outbreak.”

The new money will fund food vouchers, help with utility bills, and assistance for domestic abuse victims who may have to urgently leave their homes.

It can also be used to contribute to insurance excesses, improved home security, and replacement windows, doors and furniture for victims.

Kate Wallace, chief executive of Victim Support Scotland, said: “The increase to the victims’ fund is hugely beneficial at this time when people are social distancing, self-isolating and spending more time online.

“Isolation, in particular, can impact people affected by crime as their support networks may not be available in the same ways as before.

“We expect certain crime types to rise, such as fraud, cybercrime, stalking and domestic, child and elderly abuse. The fund will allow us to be adaptive and responsive to individual victims’ needs.

She added: “Victim Support Scotland is committed to providing practical help and emotional support to anyone affected by crime during the coronavirus outbreak and has increased helpline and webchat services.

“We encourage anyone who needs support to get in touch.”

Victim Support Scotland provides free support and works alongside other groups such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid.

The Scottish Government introduced a new Victim Surcharge in November 2019, which will go towards a fund to pay for short-term and practical help to those harmed by crime – such as replacing broken windows and locks for victims of house-breaking, or help towards funeral expenses for families bereaved by crime.

The Victims’ Surcharge Fund (VSF) is expected to open to applications in late 2020.

Brian Cox went into ‘survival mode’ after father’s death

The 73-year-old actor was eight when his mill worker father died, three weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.

Cox: Went into survival mode.

Actor Brian Cox has said he went into “survival mode” following the death of his father from pancreatic cancer.

The star of HBO’s Succession, 73, was eight when his mill worker father died, three weeks after being diagnosed with the disease.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, the Scottish actor told how his mother suffered a breakdown and the family were left in debt.

Cox said: “We were left with debts and my mum had a breakdown. It all just went belly up. It was horrific.

“I just went into survival mode. That’s what has sustained me throughout my life and with this present (coronavirus) crisis, I am currently in survival mode.”

The Dundee-born star said his life-long coping mechanism was to keep in touch with his younger self.

He told Desert Island Discs host Lauren Laverne: “You keep in touch with yourself. You keep in touch with your inner person. You keep in touch with that wee boy.

“I teach drama and I always say to my students, ‘Always carry a picture of yourself as a child because that’s who you are’.

“Never forget it. That wee person is who you are – that person of wonder, that person of amazement, that person of joy, is who you are.

“The rest is just propaganda you have had to deal with.”

The actor, whose film roles include Manhunter, The Bourne Identity and Troy, said he always carried a photo of himself as a young boy, sat atop a high chair with a “gorgeous smile”.

“It’s a fantastic reminder and it keeps you straight,” he said.

Cox, the youngest of five siblings, also discussed his family’s financial struggles following the death of his father.

“I have always had issues about money because we didn’t have any,” he continued.

“When my mum came out of hospital finally and she got a small job, she mainly lived off the widow’s pension.

“The pension would come on a Friday and sometimes on a Thursday night, not always but sometimes, we wouldn’t have any food.

“I would go across to the local fish and chip shop and I would get batter bits from the back of the pan, and that would be our tea for Thursday night.

“It sounds cliched but it’s true. It instils in you a sense of value of stuff. I am a bit cautious. I can be a bit parsimonious at times.”

Cox won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Succession’s central ageing media magnate Logan Roy, and said people often requested he deliver Roy’s four-letter catchphrase.

He said the most bizarre example of this had occurred during a meeting of the Me Too movement in the US.

“It was at a Me Too meeting with Ronan Farrow and it was very serious,” he said.

“I was invited by the actress Rosanna Arquette. She was having this book launch so I went along.

“As it ended I suddenly found myself surrounded by a lot of ladies.

“Not all of them, I don’t want to exaggerate, but maybe one, maybe two, did ask me the inevitable – could they video me telling them to eff off?

“And I said,’Is that really appropriate at a Me Too meeting’. But I think that is also to do with the confusion we live in at the moment.

“It’s also what the series is about. People, they love the naked ambition of somebody like Logan but at the same time they go, ‘Oh, we love to hate him’.

“But actually, they love to love him as well. It is kind of complex.”

Cox said he was similar to Roy in the sense that both of them “flirted with misanthropy”.

He said he did not expect to see his sister, who lives in a care home in Aberfeldy in Scotland, on her upcoming 90th birthday due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“My sister has now gone into a care home near Aberfeldy so hopefully she is going to be fine,” he said.

“Her 90th is coming up any day. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get back for it because of the restrictions. But it’s God’s country. It’s beautiful. There is nowhere like it. It’s just incredible.”

For his discs, he chose Johnny Cash’s cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Beatles’ Get Back and Joni Mitchell’s 2000 re-recording of Both Sides, Now.

Hear the full interview on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 11.15am.


Nurse raises thousands for patients with coronavirus

Alison Williams launched the crowdfunding page after seeing how 'desperately unwell' patients with coronavirus are.

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary: Staff have seen first hand how patients are suffering.

A nurse has raised thousands of pounds to help patients with coronavirus after seeing first hand how “desperately unwell” they have become.

Alison Williams from Edinburgh launched the crowdfunding page in a bid to raise money for essential items needed by those hospitalised with the covid-19 virus in Lothian and “potentially beyond”.

The page, which had an initial target on £500, has already raised over £4000 since it was launched on Saturday morning.

That number continues to grow as donations come flooding.

Alison says they are looking for donations that will help them purchase pyjamas, toiletries and Ipads to allow them to keep in contact with families after seeing how “desperately unwell” they are.

On the JustGiving page she said: “Unfortunately staff working in the COVID positive wards at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary are seeing first hand how desperately unwell these people are and how little they have.

“Without any visitors, and families at home in isolation they have little or no clothing and toiletries.

“We’re looking to purchase men’s/ladies pyjamas, toiletries and, if donations permit, hospital ipads to allow them to keep in touch with their families at such a difficult time.

“We appreciate that things are difficult for everyone right now but if you can help someone in the most difficult of times if would be very much appreciated.”

You can donate to the crowdfunding page here.

More on:

Scottish Secretary Jack develops coronavirus symptoms

The Conservative MP has not been tested but is self-isolating.

Getty
Jack: Self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack is self-isolating after developing mild symptoms of coronavirus.

The Conservative MP for Dumfries and Galloway said he has a mild temperature and a cough.

He has not been tested for Covid-19 but is self-isolating and working from home.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed on Friday that they have tested positive for Covid-19 while England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said that he has symptoms.

Jack said: “In the past 24 hours, I have developed mild symptoms associated with coronavirus.

“In line with medical guidance, I am self-isolating and working from home.”

The MP has been at home in his constituency since Wednesday.

Johnson, Hancock and Mr Whitty are all self-isolating and continuing to work.

More on:

Coronavirus: Dentists fear they could close without support

More than 600 dentists have warned the government their services risk being 'decimated'.

For anyone with a toothache, getting an appointment at your dentist is no longer an option.  

This week saw practices close their doors to all patients to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.  

Some fear a lack of financial support could force them to close down.  

More than 600 dentists have signed a letter to the Scottish Government urging them to intervene to prevent NHS dental practices from being “decimated”.

Dentists are now dealing with queries on the phone, with the most serious cases referred to central hubs such as health centres or dental hospitals.

If a patient is showing no Covid-19 symptoms they can be given advice or a prescription.

Only serious cases including swelling, bleeding or trauma are sent to a designated site such as a health centre or dental hospital.

Last week the Scottish Government agreed to continue to pay practices 90% of NHS funding.

However, dentists that rely more heavily on patient charges could see their finances hit hard.

Drew Gibson runs two NHS practices in Bearsden, with around 13,000 registered patients.

“I think there will be a significant number of practices that will be in financial difficulty in a short period of time,” he said.

“Medical, pharmaceutical, optical and so on are receiving 100% funding and that is something that we are not receiving at this moment in time and I would certainly urge the Scottish Government to look at that purely from the viability of the jobs within dental practices and so on.”

However, officials say they are doing all they can to keep all practices open.

Chief dental officer for Scotland Tom Ferris told STV: “We are working really hard in the background to see if we can identify additional resource to support those practices that are more dependent on that patient charge for revenue.  

“They are not going to have no hit.  Every business is going to take a bit of a hit from this process and there will be an impact on practices.  

“We hope to do as much as we can to make sure they are in the place to ride out that storm and be there for us when we get to the other end.”

Details of additional funding are expected next week.

Coronavirus: Seven more deaths in Scotland takes total to 40

The death toll from Covid-19 in Scotland has risen to 40 from 33 while there are 1245 cases - up 186.

Getty Images
Coronavirus: Message to drivers on M8.

The death toll from coronavirus in Scotland has risen by seven in the last 24 hours, taking total patient deaths to 40.

Confirmed Scottish cases of Covid-19 have increased by 186 in a day to 1245, the Scottish Government also confirmed.

A total of 13,133 tests on patients in Scotland have been concluded, with 11,888 people testing negative.

Cases in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area have jumped by 77 since Friday to stand at 376.

Source: Scottish Government

NHS Lanarkshire has reported a rise of 25 cases, up to 165, and NHS Lothian is up 12 cases to 151, while NHS Tayside is unchanged on 107.

Fourteen more cases have been found in Forth Valley, taking the health board’s total to 95, and there are 15 more in Ayrshire and Arran, taking total patients to 90.

There are 60 cases in Dumfries and Galloway, up 13, 52 in the Grampian area, up seven, and 51 in Fife, up ten.

NHS Highland has 36, a rise of three since Friday, NHS Borders has 35, an increase of seven, and NHS Shetland has 27, a rise of three.

No cases have been reported by NHS Orkney or NHS Western Isles.

Meanwhile, the UK Government reported that as of 5pm on Friday, 1019 people diagnosed with the virus in the UK have died – up 260 in the last 24 hours, a rise of more than a third.

As of 9am on Saturday, there are 17,089 patients with coronavirus in the UK.

These figures are highly likely to be underestimates.

More to follow

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