It’s been another day of rapid developments as governments around the world race to improve testing and introduce new drugs into clinical trials in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.
On Thursday, Scotland Tonight will air a special prime time edition at 7.30pm focused entirely on what’s happened so far and answering the questions viewers have asked through our social media channels.
Here is a round-up of some of Thursday’s stories:
By the numbers
Six patients have died after being diagnosed with coronavirus in Scotland. The policy of the governments of the UK is no longer to test every suspected case of coronavirus but to carry out “surveillance testing” of potential patients through GPs and hospitals. That makes the daily count they produce largely meaningless, because the actual number is likely far higher (and completely unknown).
School’s (kinda) out
My children were horrified when the doorbell rang and their headteacher was standing outside the house with an armful of homework for them to complete over the next couple of weeks (and a slew of online passwords so they can get assigned even more work as schools face a prolonged closure). High school students found out today their exams will be cancelled. Existing grades and prior attainment will be used to assess the grades of pupils.
The Scottish Professional Football League is holding conference calls with member clubs to hear concerns over coronavirus and the effects of the football shutdown. League titles, European places, promotion and relegation are still to be settled across the four divisions and the SPFL will be asked on how those matters will be decided if the competitions are stopped entirely.
Celtic wants closure
While the entire world tries to figure out how to wind things down for a while and let the viral outbreak recede, Scottish football clubs continue to muse about how the season should come to an end. Celtic’s executives said on Thursday the rest of the season should be completed. “The health of everyone in football and society is always the priority, but we hope clubs find a way through these testing times and ensure that the game we all love can thrive again as soon as possible.”
When was the last time you walked through an empty airport? With Edinburgh’s airport looking like a ghost town, the decision was made to effectively close because of “zero or close to zero passenger demand”.
Oil rig airlifts
Oil rig workers will be flown off their platforms in a modified helicopter if they are showing signs of the virus. BP said its Clair Ridge platform west of Shetland and Repsol Sinopec’s Auk Alpha rig north of Aberdeen have flown workers back with symptoms. None have tested positive. Meanwhile in another tight space, two prisoners have tested positive for coronavirus at HMP Kilmarnock.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds raised through STV Children’s Appeal will be given to a charity redistributing food to communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The £400,000 has been granted to Fare Share, which distributes food to charities so they can make meals for those in need.