Great Britain

Nicola Sturgeon announces 48 new deaths in Scotland as she pleads 'stay home'

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the coronavirus death toll in Scotland jumped by 48 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 495. The First Minister made the announcement during her daily briefing from Bute House in Edinburgh. Ms Sturgeon said: "It is with great sadness I have to report an additional 48 deaths of patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.

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Ms Sturgeon also confirmed Scotland will remain under lockdown through the Easter weekend after agreeing during a COBRA meeting on Thursday there is no strong data available yet showing the impact social distancing measures are having on the spread of the virus.

The First Minister insisted isolation measures will remain in place until there is proof the number of cases is steadily decreasing.

She continued: "Scotland will remain in lockdown for the Easter weekend and through next week.

At the moment, we simply do not have the evidence of the impact of the restrictions to have the confidence yet of when we might start to come out of them. 

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"As that evidence becomes available, we will be able to review them but, for now, the message remains exactly the same as it has been.

"People need to stay at home. I know how difficult that is and I know how difficult that will be particularly over this Easter weekend."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for the Prime Minister since Sunday, said a review of the lockdown is likely to take place at the end of next week.

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"That brings the total number of deaths of individuals who had tested positive in Scotland to 495."

Ms Sturgeon continued: "As of 9 o’clock this morning, I can report there have now been 5,275 positive cases confirmed, which is an increase of 318 from the figures reported yesterday.

"As always I am at this stage, let me be very clear these numbers are an underestimate. A total of 1,832 patients are currently in hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 - that is an increase of 51.

"And a total of 207 people as of last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. That is actually a decrease of five though I would caution against reading too much into that at this stage."

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