Two further deaths and 1030 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Scotland overnight, according to official figures.
The daily test positivity rate is 4.1%, the same as reported on Friday.
In a note on the data, Public Health Scotland said an ongoing delay in the laboratory processing of specimens at the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab has meant Thursday and Friday’s figures have been lower than expected compared to those reported prior to that period.
Of the new cases reported on Saturday, 297 are in Lothian, 233 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, 145 are in Tayside and 126 are in Ayrshire and Arran.
The rest of the cases are spread out across eight other health board areas.
The lab-confirmed death toll of those who tested positive currently stands at 7681, however figures including suspected Covid-19 deaths recorded by National Records of Scotland suggest the most up-to-date total is now at least 10,130.
It was also confirmed that 3,477,378 Scots have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, an increase of 18,315 from the day before.
A total of 2,402,700 people have received their second dose, a rise of 27,454.
Saturday’s figures come amid discussions between governments around the UK about the “constrained” supply of the Pfizer vaccine which is expected in the coming weeks.
Following a meeting of the British-Irish Council on Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are cooperating across the four nations in terms of vaccine supply.
“We know the Delta (Indian) variant is allowing this virus to transmit more quickly and therefore we have to do everything possible to make sure that vaccination happens at a pace that can keep it under control.
“Across all four of the nations, vaccination is going extremely well, but we do know that we have, as we have at points in the past, periods coming up where some vaccine supply will be more constrained, and over the next few weeks that looks as if it will be Pfizer.”
Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen received CPR on the pitch after collapsing during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland in Copenhagen.
Inter Milan player Eriksen dropped to the ground at the Parken Stadium shortly before half-time on Saturday, leaving players from both teams in clear distress.
English referee Anthony Taylor called medics on to the pitch and Eriksen underwent prolonged treatment.
A tweet from UEFA confirmed the Group B match had been suspended due to a medical emergency. UEFA later stated that the match would restart at 7.30pm “following the request made by players of both teams” after it was reported that Eriksen had “stabilised” in hospital.
Teammates formed a shield around the former Tottenham man after his collapse, while fans inside the stadium were clearly stunned by the incident.
Eriksen fell to the floor after rushing to receive a throw-in close to the corner flag deep in Finland’s half of the field.
The 29-year-old collapsed face first as the ball hit his knee, with nearby players immediately signalling for urgent medical assistance.
A medic was seen performing compressions on Eriksen’s chest.
The BBC, who were showing the game live, cut back to the studio where presenter Gary Lineker and pundits Cesc Fabregas, Alex Scott and Micah Richards all appeared in total shock.
Coverage of the match then ended as the decision to halt play was made.
UEFA later confirmed Eriksen had been transferred to hospital and stabilised, while the Danish football association said the player was awake.
The governing body said further information on the situation would be communicated at 6.45pm UK time.
“Following the medical emergency involving Denmark’s player Christian Eriksen, a crisis meeting has taken place with both teams and match officials and further information will be communicated at 19:45 CET,” read the UEFA tweet.
“The player has been transferred to the hospital and has been stabilised.”
Tottenham, who Eriksen played for between 2013 and 2020 before moving to Italy, were among those to show support for the player on social media.
“All of our thoughts are with Christian Eriksen and his family,” read a tweet from the London club.
After announcing the game would restart, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “Moments like this put everything in life into perspective.
“I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray his family has strength and faith.
“At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone.
“I heard of fans of both teams chanting his name. Football is beautiful and Christian plays it beautifully.”
A spokesperson for the BBC issued an apology after pictures of Eriksen were broadcast while he received treatment.
In a statement, the spokesperson said: “Everyone at the BBC is hoping Christian Eriksen makes a full recovery.
“We apologise to anyone who was upset by the images broadcast.
“In-stadium coverage is controlled by UEFA as the host broadcaster, and as soon as the match was suspended, we took our coverage off air as quickly as possible.”
A large fire which destroyed a recreated Iron Age roundhouse on the shore of Loch Tay has been described as “devastating” by the trust which runs the site.
The Scottish Crannog Centre, which is also a museum of life in ancient Scotland, burned down on Friday night.
It was engulfed in flames shortly before midnight, with firefighters called out to extinguish the blaze. There were no reports of any injuries.
The tourist attraction stood on stilts on the loch shore in Perthshire.
The Crannog Centre’s trust said it would shortly be launching an appeal for donations and continuing its efforts to develop a new site on the north shore of the loch.
Mike Benson, director of the Crannog Centre, said: “The outpouring of support from the local community and friends from further afield has been tremendous at this difficult time and the Crannog community would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt messages.
“The loss of the Crannog is devastating but, importantly, the museum collection is intact and no one has been hurt.
“We would also like thank the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland for their instant response to the emergency and their faultless efforts in tackling the blaze and keeping everyone safe in the local vicinity.”
Deputy first minister John Swinney said the fire was “absolutely devastating”.
He tweeted: “This is absolutely devastating news. Scottish Crannog is a centre of such archaeological and historical significance and has such an impact on the Breadbane area.
“I was due to meet the team on Monday and will offer all my support to recover.”
Historic Environment Scotland tweeted: “Absolutely heartbreaking news this morning. Our thoughts are with our friends at Scottish Crannog.”
As well as the recreated loch dwelling, the centre offered visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the life of Iron Age Scotland, with demonstrations of crafts and ancient cooking.
Last year the Scottish Crannog Centre was one of a number of community projects which shared almost £200,000 in funding as part of Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters.
The centre was given £18,723 by Historic Environment Scotland to help repair the walkway and decking surrounding the loch dwelling, as well as creating an outreach project for local schools.
Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, called for the centre to be rebuilt.
He tweeted: “Simply awful. The internationally renowned Crannog Centre is a huge part of the whole community of Kenmore/Loch Tay.
“So sorry for all involved with the centre who will be really upset this morning. We must rebuild it.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it was called to the scene at 11.12pm on Friday, where there was a “well-developed” fire, which was extinguished just after midnight.
John Ward, who witnessed the blaze, said it was “devastating to watch it burn”.
He said: “I saw it from the road end and my boat is at the marina.
“So lucky the wind was a westerly or it would have done a lot more damage.”
Those who live there are growing increasingly concerned by depopulation and fear the pandemic may have accelerated the problem.
They want to see a more targeted and intensive campaign to tackle the issue.
‘No future without youngsters’
Kenny Macleod, who runs a community shop on the Isle of Harris, said his daughter’s nursery has just three pupils.
“It’s a big concern for an area like this,” he told STV News. “A village is nothing without its youngsters. There’s no future for it.
“Currently the school roll is falling and it’s falling all the time. Looking into the future it’s pretty bleak at the moment for youngsters and for the school.”
Leverburgh Care Home on Harris is also facing difficulties – managers have been forced to recruit agency staff from the mainland and rent a home for them.
Deputy manager Joanetta Grantley said: “Years ago there was always lots of people around, a lot of young people around and they’d be staying here, but they’re all moving away now because there’s nothing for them here.
“Restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts, all these places are looking for staff at the moment, but there just aren’t enough people.”
‘We need opportunities’
Christina Macleod, a student in Dundee, recently returned to her childhood home in Harris for a summer job, but doesn’t know if she’ll be back after she graduates.
“I would like to live away,” she said. “I much prefer the city, but I do like coming home.
“If there were more opportunities for jobs I would definitely come home.”
Teaching in America from Lewis
At the other end of Lewis, Ariana Ayu, David Robb and their five-year-old son, David, have been bucking the trend.
After living in America for ten years, they decided to settle in Ness, where they run a bed and breakfast.
Ariana said: “We wanted to find a place to raise our son that had a feeling of community… somewhere we could get to know our neighbours in ways we don’t in a lot of big cities.
“I’m teaching nursing classes in America right now online. So with technology we can really live wherever we want and still be connected to the people that we love and be connected to our jobs.”
‘We need more homes’
A lack of affordable housing is seen as one of the main stumbling blocks when it comes to boosting the population.
Holiday homes, housing projects concentrated in urban rather than rural areas and inflated property prices due to Covid and Brexit have all had an impact.
Musician Padraig Morrison, who returned to Grimsay in North Uist last year after living in Glasgow, says people do want to return to the islands.
But he said finding a property was a major obstacle; people buying holiday homes has pushed prices up.
“There have been a number of folk who have had really challenging housing situations as soon as they have moved back,” he said.
“They’ve had to go back to the family home or do some couch surfing in order to be in the place that they want to be.”
What is being done?
Western Isles Council said it planned to make a case to the Scottish Government for extra support to provide more diverse jobs and housing.
The government said it was looking at options such as an Islands Bond, offering young people and families a financial incentive to stay in or move to the islands.
It added that work was already underway through its National Islands plan to address areas threatened by depopulation.
Detectives launch inquiry into ‘suspicious’ death of man
Emergency services were called to a flat in Mosside Drive, Blackburn, shortly before 1am on Saturday.
Detectives have launched an investigation into the “suspicious” death of a man in West Lothian.
Emergency services were called to a flat in Mosside Drive, Blackburn, shortly before 1am on Saturday.
A 35-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem is yet to take place to establish the cause of death, however investigating officers are treating it as “suspicious”.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 12.50am on Saturday, June 12, officers were called to a flat in Mosside Drive, Blackburn.
“Police and ambulance attended and a 35-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.
“A post-mortem will be carried out in due course to establish the exact cause of death, however at this time the death is being treated as suspicious and extensive police enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances surrounding this death.”
Scotland’s drugs policy minister has called for a four nations meeting to discuss reform of drugs legislation.
Angela Constance has written to Home Office minister Kit Malthouse, also seeking to discuss overdose prevention facilities and pill presses.
In her letter, Constance said there is support from experts across Europe on the benefits of overdose prevention facilities.
She said she had been encouraged by Malthouse’s recent comments around widening the availability of overdose treatments.
The Scottish Government recently established a taskforce to tackle the country’s drugs deaths crisis.
She said: “I was also encouraged recently to read of your aspiration to work with all of the devolved administrations to ‘tackle drug misuse, tighten controls on dangerous substances and widen the availability of treatments which prevent overdose deaths’, and I wondered if you were including overdose prevention facilities amongst those possible treatment options?
“A lot of these issues seemed to come up in the recent cross-party parliamentary session that took place to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).
“This session, and the ongoing campaign to reform the MDA, is yet another reminder of the need for us to adopt a public health approach to problem substance use in order to best help protect communities and lives devastated by illicit drugs.
“As you will likely be aware, we are currently taking forward a piece of work through the drug deaths taskforce regarding drug law reform which is exploring the barriers that the current legislation has on our ability to provide a public health response to this crisis.
“I would welcome an opportunity to discuss this with you and the other devolved administrations at a future four nations meeting.”
Constance also said she is keen to establish drugs checking facilities to deal with street benzodiazepines, due to the “lack of understanding around what people are taking”.
Malthouse, who is the Home Office minister for crime and policing, said: “Drugs can devastate lives, ruin families and damage communities.
“This Government’s approach to them remains clear – we must prevent drug misuse in our communities and support people through treatment and recovery.
“Tackling drug misuse is a priority for this Government and we are clear that action is needed across all four nations to reduce the harms caused.
“We are committed to working across the UK and have regular contact with the Scottish Government at ministerial and official level on this issue.”
The Home Office says drug consumption rooms are not legal in the UK, though it will give consideration to new evidence on their harms and benefits.