LiveFMQs RECAP: Nicola Sturgeon to address Parliament with coronavirus updates

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LIVE blog picture: JPI Media
LIVE blog picture: JPI Media

FMQs RECAP: 39 new deaths as Nicola Sturgeon addresses Parliament with coronavirus updates

Last updated: Thursday, 05 November, 2020, 13:37

  • First Minister ‘actively considering’ putting Scots travel ban in law
  • 39 new deaths as country records 1,216 cases
  • Rishi Sunak confirms 80 per cent furlough will be available in UK until March 

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Covid-19 cases must go into decline and not just level off as she revealed the R number in Scotland is "hovering around one".

The First Minister said the reduction in the number, which measures the average number of people infected by each person with coronavirus, is "clearly progress on the last couple of weeks".

But she stressed "we have to continue to be careful and cautious" as Scotland approaches its first review of the new five-tier approach to coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of First Minister's Questions at Holyrood on Thursday, she said: "With some other indicators, that does suggest that the tough measures that have been in place in recent weeks - and the compliance of the public with those measures - is starting to have an effect."

Ms Sturgeon said countries such as France and Spain have had a rise in cases followed by a flattening off, only for this to be followed by another rises in coronavirus infections.

"We have to be cautious of that here," she said.

"It is not enough for us as we head into winter simply to see a levelling off or a slowing down in the rise of cases - that is what an R number slightly above 1 would deliver."

She added: "What we want to see going into winter to protect the country, to protect the NHS and to save lives, is a reduction in the number of cases."

Urgent dental plan in place? Pauline McNeill questions FM about dentist services

Nicola Sturgeon said she has increased the range of dental procedures available under current restrictions. 

From November 1 patients have been able to access full range of NHS care and treatment from NHS dental services.

 She said the Scottish Government is continuing to work with dentists to make sure services for patients are available as much as possible under the current guidelines. 

FM hits back at Richard Leonard on comments about preventing second wave

Nicola Sturgeon hit back at Labour MSP Richard Leonard saying he ‘can’t have both ways’ after criticising the harsh restrictions on hospitality and calling for action to prevent a second wave 

Richard Leonard challenges FM over hospital capacity concerns

The Labour MSP quotes Professor Jackie Taylor, president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, describing the NHS have faced a ‘perfect storm.'

He asked Ms Sturgeon what measures she has in place to help the health services. 

The First Minister replied saying trebling ICU capacity is in place now and other services such as the NHS Louisa Jordan is available if the virus gets more out of control. 

Rishi Sunak confirms 80 per cent furlough will be available in the UK until March

After days of uncertainty on whether or not the support will be available to devolved governments, Mr Sunak confirmed details this afternoon. 

The scheme will pay up to 80 per cent of a person's wage up to £2,500 a month.

He told the Commons that the government will review the policy in January.

‘I am extremely concerned about the winter months ahead but we should have cautious hope’

Ms Stugeon said she has ‘no shred of complacency’, but confirms Scotland is in a ‘relatively better position’ than other countries because the Scottish Government is acting with serious caution ahead of this winter. 

‘If we are to get through this winter keeping Covid-19 under control, it means each and every one of us have to comply with the restrictions in place.’

‘We have NHS Louisa Jordan at hand if Covid gets out of control,’ she added. 

‘We do not have a shortage of beds’

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was challenged by Conservative MSP Ruth Davidson  about bed capacity for Covid-19 patients ahead of winter. 

Ms Sturgeon stressed the country does not have a shortage of beds, or staff. 

Ruth Davidson then asked what the Scottish Government is doing to prevent infected patients going into the same wards where there are non-infected patients in hospitals. 

She talks about a man whose elderly parent died after catching Covid-19 in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. She asks what the government is doing to prevent mixing of Covid and non-Covid patients.

Nicola Sturgeon said she and the health minister look closely at bed capacity in hospitals and NHS staff  capacity. 

She said she expects those working in the health service to follow the ‘red’ and ‘green’ guidance which has been set up to make sure patients do not mix with patients who have tested positive for Covid-19. 

Nicola Sturgeon in FMQs live

Chancellor set to extend furlough until March, sources have told the BBC.

Details are to be given just after midday today, but it’s not currently clear if it will mean the full 80 per cent support. 

More as we have it. 

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Nicola Sturgeon due to make take questions in First Minister’s Questions at 12.20pm this afternoon

Rishi Sunak expected to spell out details of the UK Government’s decision on furlough support for Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she will be ‘disappointed’ if the support is not provided from the Treasury. 

More as we have it. 

Scotland’s Justice Minister Humza Yousaf speaks out about the current uncertainty over furlough support in Scotland

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