Nicola Sturgeon has wished the Prime Minister well as he battles coronavirus in intensive care, saying: “We are all willing you on Boris, get well soon.”
The First Minister issued the message of support to Mr Johnson and his family on behalf of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland while he continues to fight the Covid-19 infection.
Speaking at the daily press briefing, in which she announced the recorded death toll from coronavirus in Scotland had risen by 74 to 296, Ms Sturgeon said the Prime Minister’s illness showed that the virus “simply doesn’t discriminate”.
She said the number of deaths recorded in past 24 hours is “relatively large” because the National Records of Scotland is moving to recording deaths seven days a week, having recorded just four deaths over the weekend, which she had said would be “artificially low”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “At times like this, things that divide us in normal times just seem so much less important and we are very much reminded of that again today.
“Right now, all of us are just human beings united in a fight against this virus.
“As we know, the Prime Minister – as well as leading the UK’s response – is currently in hospital fighting his own personal battle against coronavirus.
“I chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s cabinet this morning and we recorded our very best wishes to him.
“Now – and I’m sure I do this on behalf of all of Scotland – I want to send every good wish to him, his fiancee and to his whole family.
“We are all willing you on Boris, get well soon.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said that Mr Johnson’s condition overnight was stable and he “remains in good spirits”.
The spokesman added: “He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance.
“He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.”
Stressing that the UK and Scottish governments would continue to work closely in their response to the disease, Ms Sturgeon said: “The Prime Minister’s illness will not affect us as people would expect, there will still be co-operation on key strategic decisions which take place, where appropriate, between the Scottish Government, the UK Government and the other devolved governments.
“My ministers have, for a number of weeks, joined UK ministers for regular meetings on health, public services and the economy, and that will continue.”
The significant rise in the number of confirmed deaths linked to coronavirus was in part due to the system of recording fatalities not yet being a seven-day-a-week operation, Ms Sturgeon explained, although a new reporting method is expected to be in place in the coming days.
In total, 4,229 people have tested positive across the country and the number of patients being treated in hospital for Covid-19 symptoms is 1,751, increases of 268 and 152 people respectively.
Of those patients in hospital, 199 are being treated in intensive care, the same figure as reported on Monday.
Ms Sturgeon also used the online briefing at the Scottish Government’s headquarters in Edinburgh to pay tribute to care workers following reports of a spate of deaths in care homes across Scotland, including eight deaths at Castle View Care Home in Dumbarton.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The Care Inspectorate will continue to provide advice and support to that home and to others.
“The Scottish Government is working with the inspectorate to understand the broader impact of Covid-19 on the care sector so that we can support health and care workers as much as possible.”
Chief nursing officer Fiona McQueen also spoke at the briefing, giving an update on the emergency hospital under construction at Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC).
She said work had been under way “24 hours a day” since last week to ensure the field hospital, named the NHS Louisa Jordan, could open as soon as possible.
The hospital is expected to be able to accommodate 300 patients by mid-April, with the possibility of adding an extra 700 beds if required.
Ms McQueen paid tribute to more than 750 NHS staff and construction workers for their work at the site, as well as the military, and added: “I’ve seen myself what seems to be miles of copper piping so that every bed head will have the oxygen that patients may need.
“We’ve had over 8,000 pieces of medical equipment ordered and 23,000 square feet of flooring.
“It is truly beginning to take shape and beginning to look like a hospital.”
Jill Young, chief executive of the NHS Louisa Jordan, said: “The progress made at the NHS Louisa Jordan has been exceptional. The contractors and NHS workforce are working under challenging conditions to ensure that the hospital is ready if required.”