Coronavirus ‘in retreat’ as no new deaths recorded for second consecutive day

Nicola Sturgeon has said coronavirus is "in retreat" in Scotland as she revealed there have been no new deaths from the disease for a second day in a row.

The First Minister said 2,415 patients who tested positive for Covid-19 have died – no change on the previous day's total.

She welcomed the "very encouraging" figures and said she is now "optimistic" Scotland can move to the second phase of its four-part plan to ease out of lockdown when the restrictions are reviewed next week.

But she also struck a note of caution, warning the virus could still "roar back with a vengeance" and told the most vulnerable Scots, who are in shielding, that the time frame for this is being extended.

Those at great risk of serious harm from coronavirus had been told to shield until June 18, with this now extended until the end of July.

But the First Minister said people in the shielded category can leave their home for daily exercise from Thursday June 18, provided they do not live in care homes.

They are still being advised not to meet up with other people from different households.

Ms Sturgeon, speaking at her daily briefing in Edinburgh, stressed that "sticking with this for a bit longer really does matter".

She added the "painful but necessary sacrifices" people have made since lockdown was imposed "have brought us to where we are today with this virus in retreat".

The First Minister added the disease is "in retreat but not gone and still posing a real risk, especially to the most clinically vulnerable".

She said: "This is such a crucial juncture in our battle against this virus.

"We will either keep going, keep beating it back, as we are now, or we will give it the chance to roar back with a vengeance. We must, must do the former."

A total of 15,639 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in Scotland, up 18 from 15,621 the day before.

30 PHOTOS
Pictures of the week: June 7 - June 13
See Gallery
Pictures of the week: June 7 - June 13
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 12: Tailor Gary Keenan (R) of Bogart Menswear measures up a suit using a customer pod designed to keep customers safe from Covid-19 after their store reopened for business on June 12, 2020 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After being shuttered for months to curb the spread of Covid-19, retailers here reopened with social distancing measures, a few days ahead of when similar businesses can reopen in England. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Bryn Hughes (L), the father of Pc Nicola Hughes, and Paul Bone, the father of Pc Fiona Bone, during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new UK Police Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alreewas, Staffordshire.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 12: Hollie Doyle heads out of the weighing room to the paddock prior to a race at Wolverhampton Racecourse on June 12, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Steve Davies/Pool via Getty Images)
Boards being put up around the statue of Thomas Guy at Guy's hospital in London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Local residents show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Locals show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Two people cover under their clothes to protect from a rain shower as they row a boat on the river Thames at Windsor, as the the UK is forecast to be hit with heavy showers, strong gales and colder temperatures over the weekend, with Britons being warned not to move gatherings indoors.
Amanda Holden seen with an umbrella departing the Global Radio Studios in London. (Photo by Brett Cove / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A sticker placed on the tongue of one of the lion sculptures in Trafalgar Square, London, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Cecil Rhodes statue stands at the front facade of the Oriel College in Oxford during the protest. Cecil was an English-born businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. The founder of the diamond company De Beers and the founder of the state of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) , which was named after him. The Rhodes Must Fall campaign was reignited from a 2016 campaign following recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations after the demise of George Floyd under police custody in Mineapolis. Despite the Covid19 lockdown, protesters globally have united to demand change. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Protesters hold Rhodes Must Fall placards during the demonstration. The Rhodes Must Fall campaign was reignited from a 2016 campaign following recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations after the demise of George Floyd under police custody in Mineapolis. Despite the Covid19 lockdown, protesters globally have united to demand change. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Police during a protest calling for the removal of the statue of 19th century imperialist, politician Cecil Rhodes from an Oxford college which has reignited amid anti-racism demonstrations.
A cyclist passes graffiti in Edinburgh following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Locals show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset ahead of its expected removal to "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street, in Westminster, London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) at the Houses of Parliament. Picture date: Wednesday June 10, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
A worker cleans graffiti from the plinth of the statue of Sir Winston Churchill at Parliament Square in London, following a Black Lives Matter protest at the weekend. A raft of protests across the UK were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A worker collects discarded placards from Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, London, following a Black Lives Matter protest at the weekend. A raft of protests across the UK were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Graffiti that reads 'Britain built on Slavery' on Great George Street on June 08, 2020 in London, England. As the British government further relaxes Covid-19 lockdown measures in England, this week sees preparations being made to open non-essential stores and Transport for London handing out face masks to commuters. International travelers arriving in the UK will face a 14-day quarantine period. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Member of the public Graham Newby cleans graffiti, that included the letters BLM and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A person with a sign protesting 'British History Matters' alongside the statue of Robert Baden-Powell on Poole Quay in Dorset. The statue is due to be removed and placed in "safe storage" following concerns about his actions while in the military and "Nazi sympathies". The action follows a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A person holds a sign during a Black Lives Matter protest in Edinburgh, following a raft of protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A woman looks at a graffiti art piece on Black Lives Matter on a wall in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
McDonald's Shirley Road in Southampton operates under social distance measures as lockdown restrictions have been relaxed during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
Council workers clean graffiti, that included the letters "BLM" and the words "murderer" and "slave owner", from a statue of Queen Victoria in Woodhouse Moor, Leeds, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A policeman stands at the edge of an anti-racism protest in Queens Gardens, Hull, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the UK over the weekend. The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
A member of staff has their temperature checked as they arrived to work at Woodford Dental Care in north London, as the practice opens up for the first time since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown.
CHELMSFORD, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: David Egan riding Queen of Silca (orange) win The Chelmsford Handicap at Chelmsford City Racecourse on June 08, 2020 in Chelmsford, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Dentist Dr Roy Woodhoo and Dental Nurse Charlie Coppen wear PPE to examine the first patient through the doors at Woodford Dental Care in north London, as the practice opens up for the first time since the UK went into coronavirus lockdown.
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Queen Elizabeth II attends a ceremony to mark her official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Paul Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 13: Members of the Welsh Guards perform in a ceremony to mark Britain's Queen Elizabeth's official birthday at Windsor Castle on June 13, 2020 in Windsor, England. The Queen celebrates her 94th birthday this year, in line with Government advice, it was agreed that The Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, would not go ahead in its traditional form. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

There are 1,042 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, an increase of 40 from the previous day, and 24 patients are in intensive care, a decrease of one.

The First Minister said a second consecutive day with no new deaths is "very encouraging".

She added: "I can't tell you how long I have waited to be able to report such a development."

But the First Minister said more deaths from the virus are likely to be reported in the coming days.

Nevertheless, she said she is "optimistic" at the next review of restrictions on June 18 that Scotland will be "able to move, at least in part into the next phase of our route map out of lockdown with more individual freedoms restored and more businesses able to open up and operate again".

Moving into phase two could allow households to meet indoors, while pubs and restaurants could open outdoor spaces and marriages and civil partnerships could take place with minimal number of attendees

Smaller stores may also be able to reopen for business then, with physical distancing and hygiene measures in place.

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) said some non-essential stores in Northern Ireland are already reopening, with England planning for more stores to allow shoppers back from next week.

SRC director David Lonsdale said: "Those shops who have been open and trading during the crisis have led the way in providing a safe environment for shoppers and staff.

"Those stores still to be allowed to re-open are working hard to get ready to do so safely, putting in place the necessary social distancing and hygiene measures to protect customers and staff.

"Whenever that day comes retail will be ready to play its part in getting Scotland's economy moving again. Retail can be a springboard for the economy to bounce back but it must be able to open."

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS