| 9.6°C Belfast

Covid-19 death toll up to 33 as more than 65,000 Scots estimated to have virus

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed the number of positive cases of coronavirus has passed 1,000 for the first time.

Close

Nicola Sturgeon sent her best wishes to the PM after he revealed he has Covid-19 (Andy Buchanan/PA)

Nicola Sturgeon sent her best wishes to the PM after he revealed he has Covid-19 (Andy Buchanan/PA)

Nicola Sturgeon sent her best wishes to the PM after he revealed he has Covid-19 (Andy Buchanan/PA)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed a further eight people have died in Scotland as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, taking the total to 33.

She also announced an increase of 165 in confirmed cases of Covid-19 to 1,059.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde has recorded the highest number of cases with 299, followed by Lanarkshire with 140 and Lothian with 139.

The estimated number of people in Scotland who have contracted coronavirus has now been revised up to more than 65,000, according to Scotland’s chief medical officer.

Speaking at a briefing with the First Minister and Health Secretary Jeane Freeman in Edinburgh, Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “I was quoted yesterday in some of the press as estimating that there were between 40,000 and 50,000 people in Scotland with coronavirus.

“While it’s dangerous to go day by day, I want to really emphasise that I would now be estimating that there are more than 65,000 people in Scotland infected.”

She said the “vast majority” of people may not realise they have contracted the disease or are self-isolating after experiencing symptoms.

Dr Calderwood added: “There will come a time where I will be able to talk to you about the numbers being infected and that rate slowing but that time is not yet and that time will not be for some weeks to come.”

The First Minister also sent her “best wishes” to the Prime Minister after news of his testing positive for the disease was made public on Friday.

Confirming she had not been tested, Ms Sturgeon said: “I don’t underestimate how difficult it is to be positive for this virus so I’m certainly sending my best wishes to him for a very speedy recovery.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Ms Calderwood also thanked those across the UK who showed their support for NHS staff during the pandemic on Thursday evening by breaking into applause, describing how she became “emotional” at the gesture.

The First Minister reiterated calls for people to stay at home and help to stop the pandemic spreading, particularly as the first weekend since the lockdown measures were brought into force approaches.

She said: “Above all else, we must continue to do the right thing for the sake of the National Health Service and those who are most vulnerable from becoming seriously ill and dying from this virus, and that means staying at home.

“By doing that, every single one of us in this collective national endeavour is helping to slow down the spread of this virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Ms Sturgeon added: “I know that many of you will already be struggling with being cooped up in the house as much as you are right now and not being able to do all the normal things that you would do at the weekend but it is vital that all of us stick with this.”

In a message to young people, the First Minister asked they “remember to have fun” and contact family members.

She added: “I’d say to young people, make sure you pick up the phone to your grandparents this weekend, or Facetime them, telling them how you’re getting on – but also to check in on them and see how they’re doing – I’m sure they would really appreciate it.”

Meanwhile, NHS Grampian has announced it is one of the first health boards in Scotland to have started in-house Covid-19 testing, meaning patient samples no longer have to be sent to a main reference lab in Glasgow for analysis.

PA