Coronavirus: 46 more deaths in Scotland as cases reach 3000

Scotland's Covid-19 death toll stands at 172, while there are 399 new confirmed cases.

A further 46 people have died after being diagnosed with coronavirus in Scotland, taking the country’s death toll to 172.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also confirmed total confirmed Covid-19 cases in Scotland have risen by 399 in the past day to stand at 3001.

Of those reported patients, 176 of them are in intensive case in Scottish hospitals, the FM said, a rise of 14 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 1321 – close to half – of the confirmed cases are being treated in hospitals, an increase of 39 since Thursday.

The most cases in Scotland are found in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, where there are now 779 Covid-19 patients – up by 97 overnight.

UK-wide, 684 more deaths have been reported in the last 24-hour period, the biggest jump yet, taking the death toll to 3605.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases across the UK are now 38,168.

The First Minister addressed confusion over whether the UK Government’s new target of reaching 100,000 tests a day by the end of April also included Scotland.

She said what the Scottish Government would do would be proportionally equal what is being done on testing in the rest of UK.

The Scottish Government currently has the capacity to test 1900 people a day with the target of reaching 3500 by the end of the month.

Scottish ministers also looking at how antibody testing can move Scotland out of lockdown, although the test does not currently exist in a “reliable form”, Sturgeon said.

The Scottish Government has put together a testing oversight group, which has been tasked with monitoring the provision of tests for the disease.

The group will be responsible for the increase in capacity of the labs in Scotland, along with the Scottish side of the delivery of the UK initiative to allow “non-NHS testing”.

The group would also be responsible for the development of antibody testing – which can tell if a person has previously had the virus – to ensure that the tests can be deployed efficiently when they become available.

Surveillance, logistics, and access and data management will also be under the supervision of the group.

The First Minister also said media reports of Covid-19 peaking next week were not accurate, saying: “I want to be very clear, that nothing I have seen gives me any basis whatsoever for predicting that the virus will peak as early as a week’s time in Scotland.

“I have to ask people to continue to stick to these measures.”

Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood reiterated the First Minister’s assertions about the peak of the virus.

She said: “That curve has been based on mathematical modelling, a computerised version of what might happen in the real world.

“I have been watching these models and now the new data, and I have not been able to find that the peak will be as soon as we’re hearing in the media today.

“I would urge people to keep going with these stringent measures, now is not the time to think that perhaps it will all be over soon, we have always said that many months will be needed before we can get on top of this virus and be sure that we’re not going to have a worse scenario later.”

Sturgeon further confirmed that childcare services would remain open during what would have been the Easter holidays.

The provisions may be different than during term time, the First Minister said, but she assured key workers that children would be looked after throughout the holiday period.

“This will be a holiday period unlike any we’ve had in our lifetimes,” the First Minister said.

She added: “Once again, I know how hard this is, but I also want to stress again today that these restrictions are absolutely essential.”

Confirmed cases by NHS board area (and daily change)

Greater Glasgow and Clyde: 779 (+97)

Lothian: 408 (+52)

Lanarkshire: 377 (+57)

Tayside: 353 (+46)

Ayrshire and Arran: 240 (+19)

Forth Valley: 189 (+17)

Grampian: 173 (+45)

Fife: 147 (+28)

Dumfries and Galloway: 122 (+18)

Borders: 100 (+7)

Highland: 72 (+7)

Shetland: 36 (+6)

Western Isles: 3 (no change)

Orkney: 2 (nc)

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