Coronavirus deaths in Scotland at two-month high with three fatalities

Coronavirus deaths in Scotland have hit their highest level in more than two months as three fatalities were recorded in a single day for the first time since June 30.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the deaths during the Scottish Government’s briefing in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

She said 176 positive cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the last 24 hours “in every mainland health board area” in the country, taking the total to 21,719.

A total of 2,499 people have died with the virus in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon gave the latest Covid-19 figures for Scotland (Jane Barlow/PA)

On Monday evening, the Scottish Government imposed restrictions on Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire and continued existing measures in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire for at least a further seven days.

The measures bar people from visiting other households in these areas and also prohibit them from visiting homes in other local authorities.

Ms Sturgeon said the “really unwelcome” decision to impose more lockdown restrictions was a “proportionate” response to rising coronavirus cases.

“Overall, I believe that they represent a proportionate and hopefully effective – but also an absolutely necessary – response to a worrying increase in Covid-19 across these areas,” she said.

“The restrictions will be reviewed again next week and they will stay in place for as long as they are needed but they will not stay in place for any longer than that.”

Ms Sturgeon added the rise in coronavirus cases in Inverclyde and Lanarkshire “does not warrant additional restrictions” but the Scottish Government will be keeping that decision under review.

The results of a review into lockdown measures in Scotland will be announced on Thursday but Ms Sturgeon said she does not expect to be able to ease restrictions.

“It’s only fair that I signal now that, while final decisions have not yet been taken, when we do our latest three-weekly review on Thursday we may well not be able to go ahead with any further easing of restrictions,” she said.

The First Minister said gatherings in people’s homes are the biggest source of coronavirus spreading in the west of Scotland.

“They’re also a setting in which older and more vulnerable people are often most at risk of infection because older and more vulnerable people are perhaps more likely to socialise at home, rather than visit pubs and restaurants,” she said.

“As a result, our restrictions focus on meetings in people’s houses.

“However, we know some transmission is taking place in pubs and restaurants and so we will also keep that under close review.”

Customers at a pub in Edinburgh
Customers at a pub in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ms Sturgeon urged customers to avoid pub crawls to multiple venues and to stay away from busy bars.

“It really does make a difference to your safety and also to the safety of those around you,” she said.

“This is an area that we know is hard to regulate and we don’t want, if we can avoid it, to have to create new rules or laws but there is clearly a responsibility for individuals here.

“The hospitality sector has reopened and we want people to support the sector and of course to be able to safely enjoy themselves.”

She added: “But we are still living in a global pandemic, that pandemic is now accelerating again across the country and of course it is still accelerating across the world.

“So you should not be socialising in the same way as you were last year or in the earlier part of the year before the pandemic.”

The First Minister also criticised the “really dangerous delusion” that rising numbers of cases among younger people should not be a concern.

“The risk of a young person getting seriously ill or dying is thankfully lower, but it is not zero, and I would ask people of all ages to remember that,” she said.

“If transmission becomes established in the younger population, it will eventually reach the older and more vulnerable population.

“So to younger people, please think about your loved ones as well as yourselves, which I know everybody does.”

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