Number of coronavirus deaths in Scotland rises by 81 to 447

A total of 447 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 81 from 366 on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking ahead of a virtual question-and-answer session with party leaders, she said 4,957 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 392 from 4,565 the day before.

There are 212 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, an increase of two on Wednesday.

Ms Sturgeon added that 1,781 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19.

It has been 100 days since the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Wuhan in China, the First Minister said, adding the lives of the people of Scotland since then have been “transformed in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago”.

Addressing the Easter weekend, she urged Scots to continue to follow lockdown protocols.

She said: “I know how hard it is for people to do that, it will seem even harder over this Easter holiday weekend, especially for families with children and indeed for the children themselves and for older people who would normally be spending time with their grandchildren.

“Please stay in touch with family, friends and loved ones in whatever alternative way best works for you.

“Reach out to and look out for people even as you stay physically apart from them, but please do follow the rules and stay at home over Easter.”

She added: “This virtual session of FMQs might, in the scheme of things, seem like a relatively minor example of that, but it is a striking example of that.”

The First Minister expressed her gratitude to parliament staff and the Presiding Officer for making the virtual session possible.

In a letter to MSPs on Wednesday announcing the virtual session, Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh wrote: “I know that members share my view that it is more important than ever that our parliament continues to function during this public health crisis and that we create opportunities for it do so remotely, not least so that we do not put others at any undue risk.”