Coronavirus claims 70 more lives as Scots death toll hits 985

There have been 8672 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Scotland, the First Minister said.

Coronavirus has claimed the lives of 70 more people in Scotland – raising the death toll to 985.

A total of 8672 patients have tested positive for Covid-19, with 1876 currently in hospital.

One hundred and sixty-six of those are being treated in intensive care, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said during her daily briefing in Edinburgh.

She said the hospital figures appeared to be stabilising and the number of people in intensive care appeared to be reducing.

Referencing figures reported on Tuesday that show a possible contraction of 33% in the Scottish economy, the First Minister said: “Fundamentally, we recognise that in order to protect public health the government is making extraordinary demands on businesses.

“We appreciate that the onus is on government to equally do extraordinary things and provide extraordinary support for businesses.”

The First Minister also said there would be a “significant increase” in the number of people out of work, which will not be reflected in the labour market statistics published on Tuesday.

Sturgeon also said the health of the economy must be a factor in the decision to cease the lockdown measures, although she said that damage to the economy alone is not enough to open the country again.

She also said that new regulations would allow police to enforce lockdown measures within workplaces, although she said they will not be “routinely patrolling office blocks”.

It was her hope, she said, that the police would use “dialogue” to enforce the laws.

The First Minister added that the new regulations would see live stock markets and money advice firms to continue to operate.

Holiday accommodation services will also be allowed to continue their work, taking bookings online or over the phone for future dates, not within the lockdown period.

The First Minister stressed that a timeline for the end of the lockdown period was not yet known.

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