Coronavirus deaths in Scotland rise to 495 as police urge lockdown compliance

A total of 495 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said as she urged people to stick to lockdown measures over the Easter weekend.

The figure is an increase of 48 from 447 on Thursday. Some 5,275 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 318 from 4,957 the day before.

There are 207 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, a decrease of five on Thursday, while 1,832 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19.

Ms Sturgeon was joined for the first time by Police Chief Constable Iain Livingstone at the daily coronavirus briefings.

He said on one recent occasion police visited a house in the Scottish borders where people had gathered in breach of lockdown measures. The group did not comply with officers’ instructions and a number of people were arrested and others served fixed penalty notices.

But he said he expects officers to use common sense to work with communities, and he would not expect patrolling of supermarket aisles.

Asked why former chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood, who resigned after visiting her second home, was not fined by police, he said: “I am very satisfied that that matter was dealt with in a timely, a fair, and proportionate manner.

The 2018/19 audit of the Scottish Police Authority
The 2018/19 audit of the Scottish Police Authority

“Dr Calderwood accepted the error of her ways without any equivocation and accepted that she would change her behaviours. It was entirely appropriate that a warning was issued and that is exactly how I would expect any citizen to be dealt with.”

Giving an update on Thursday’s Cobra meeting, the First Minister said that the UK would remain on lockdown.

She added that there was no evidence of any change to the spread of the virus which would be needed to lift the restrictions.

The First Minister added: “As that evidence becomes available we will be able to review the situation, but for now, the message remains exactly the same as it has been.”

She added that she expects the NHS Louisa Jordan hospital, set up at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, will not need to be used, but that it will be available if needed from mid-April.