Coronavirus: Scotland records 71 new cases in a day

There are 31 fresh infections in the Tayside area, where a cluster has broken out at a chicken factory.

Scotland has recorded 71 new coronavirus infections in the last day, with nearly 150 cases in the last 48 hours.

Nicola Sturgeon gave the latest update on Covid-19 in Scotland, with 31 of the new cases in the Tayside region.

It follows a growing cluster of infections which originated from a 2 Sisters chicken factory in Coupar Angus, Perthshire.

All workers at the food processing plant and everyone in their households have been ordered to self-isolate until August 31.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s Friday Covid briefing, the First Minister said 68 cases have been associated with the Coupar Angus outbreak.

Of those, 59 are workers at the plant and the other nine are close contacts.

Two of the contacts also have links to two other factories in the region, with people from at least three council areas affected by the cluster.

More than 600 factory workers have been tested.

But contrasting the cluster with that of Aberdeen’s, which led to a local lockdown, Sturgeon said there is currently “minimal evidence of community transmission in Tayside”.

The First Minister told the briefing: “Some people may be looking at Aberdeen and Coupar Angus and wondering why exactly the same approach is not being taken.

“The key point I’m making is the nature of the steps that we take in different outbreaks has to depend on and be guided by the nature of the outbreak.”

Thursday’s 77 new Covid cases was the highest in three months and was followed up on Friday by a figure of 71.

It takes total cases over the last 48 hours to 148.

The FM said ten of the 71 new cases are in the Grampian region, where the city of Aberdeen was also hit by a local outbreak at the start of the month.

She said the outlook in Aberdeen is “improving” and added she hopes to approve a “firm timetable” for easing local lockdown restrictions when measures in the city are reviewed on Sunday.

Sturgeon continued: “I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the city of Aberdeen for complying so well with these restrictions.

“I know how difficult it will have been.

“We all hope and are optimistic that Aberdeen will be on the road back – if not to complete normality then at least as much normality as the rest of the country very soon.”

Meanwhile, 16 of the new infections are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and four are in Lanarkshire – areas also affected by localised clusters.

Sturgeon said there are currently 254 Scots in hospital with the virus, an increase of five on Thursday’s figure.

Of those, two patients are being treated in intensive care, which is unchanged.

No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Scotland in the last 24 hours, the FM added.

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