If anything helps us beat coronavirus, it will be the hard work and dedication of our public ­servants.

NHS staff are doing an extraordinary job treating the sick and are working around the clock to provide a first-class service.

Local government employees are continuing to provide essential services and should be commended for their efforts. And police are keeping us safe and preparing to use new powers to enforce social distancing.

However, it is inevitable that public servants will contract Covid-19 and staff numbers will take a hit.

As we report today, the single police force was without 16 per cent of its officers on Friday as a result of self-isolating.

At full pelt, Police Scotland can deploy 17,254 officers, 5600 civilian staff and in excess of 500 special constables.

But nearly 3000 officers on that one day alone reported flu-like symptoms or were on annual leave.

No wonder a policing source says providing the service will be a “massive struggle”.

This depletion reinforces the need for citizens not to put extra pressure on services.

The police are not helped when fools deliberately ignore Government advice on social distancing and continue on as before.

The Daily Record has launched our NHS Heroes campaign to thank the remarkable NHS staff who are on the front lines of this coronavirus emergency.

These amazing people place our health above their own and we are inviting the public to pledge their support by placing a heart on their location in the UK.

Please join us in showing these people our gratitude as we navigate this difficult time.

NHS heroes logo.png 

To pledge your support, just:

* Go to http://www.thanksamillionnhs.co.uk/

* Add your postcode to put a heart on the map and show your support for the heroes of the NHS


* Share the page to encourage others to show their support


Despite instructions to stay at home, hundreds of youths congregated at a nature reserve in Motherwell on Sunday and partied all night.

Police also attended reports of an illegal rave held at a housing estate in Glasgow’s south side.

These gatherings were selfish and dangerous.

Some young people may feel they are invincible but they could contract the infection and pass it on to a vulnerable grandparent.

A stretched police force should not have to bother about these types of incident in a crisis. People must behave responsibly – or face the ­consequences.

Volunteer army

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to call for volunteers to help the fight against COVID-19

Nicola Sturgeon will today announce a volunteer army to fight coronavirus – but in some quarters it is already happening.

Clare Campbell, a Highlands ­businesswoman who runs a textiles firm in Easter Ross, is behind an initiative to bring together face mask makers.

Communities are organising ­themselves to make non-medical grade masks to cope with the pandemic.

Co-ordinated via the ­ukfreemasks.com website, the project matches up those who are making masks with people who need the extra protection.

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Coronavirus in Scotland

One such group is a squad of ­volunteers in Argyll and Bute who are sewing the masks for NHS workers.

Please back this great idea – you could save lives.