LiveNicola Sturgeon briefing LIVE: First Minister confirms 31 new Covid-19 deaths | 1,072 new cases

Live updates on the key stories about coronavirus in Scotland.

NHS protesters outside the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, November 5.
NHS protesters outside the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, November 5.

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Friday, November 6, 2020

Last updated: Friday, 06 November, 2020, 13:06

  • 1,072 new cases in last 24 hours
  • 31 new deaths since yesterday
  • New funding for students’ mental health
  • Sturgeon dismisses Covid hospital bed fears
  • Three more deaths at Dumfries care home

More funding for students

Nicola Sturgeon announced more funding to support students.

She said: “We know that students have faced some particular pressures since the start of the new academic term, many of them will be away from home for the first time, which is always a difficult adjustment for young people to make, but in addition to that they are having to adapt to new forms of learning and socialising, and of course many students have also had to deal with the challenges of self-isolation.”

She announced an additional £1.3 million to improve mental health and wellbeing support for students.

The money will allow colleges and universities to enhance what they already provide and could be used to expand counselling services, deliver more support online or improve their ability to check on the welfare of students.

She said: “It should help all students get the right support whenever they need it.”

Sturgeon on Remembrance Sunday events

At the moment, in areas of Scotland under levels, two, three or four outdoor events and gatherings are not permitted. That obviously means that many local and national events will not be able to take place this year, or will have to be significantly scaled back in terms of numbers of people. This is necessary in order to curtail the virus, but it does not, and it should not mean that Remembrance Sunday and Remembrance Day go unmarked on Sunday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

She will lay a wreath on behalf of the nation at the Scottish National War memorial at Edinburgh Castle and urged people across the country to observe the two-minute silence from their doorsteps at 11am on Sunday and Remembrance Day.

Protect Scotland app updated to work with other UK tracing apps

Ms Sturgeon also announced that the Protect Scotland app is now compatible with the English and Welsh versions of the app.

It means people travelling to and from Scotland from other parts of the UK will be able to continue using the version of the app they originally downloaded.

It follows an earlier update which made the Protect Scotland app compatible with apps in Northern Ireland and Jersey.

So far, more than 1.6 million people in Scotland have downloaded the Protect Scotland app. 

Denmark removed from Scotland’s quarantine exemption list

Yesterday the Scottish Government announced that travellers from both Sweden and Germany arriving in Scotland will have to self-isolate for two weeks. 

Speaking about the decision today, Ms Sturgeon added that Denmark had also been removed from the list. 

She said: “This morning, health authorities in Denmark have reported cases in humans of a varient strain of the virus associated with outbreaks in mink farms.”

She added that removing Denmark from the exemption list was made on a “precautionary basis.”

Scottish tiered lockdown system to be reviewed on Tuesday

The First Minister confirmed that the different lockdown levels Scottish local authorities are in will be reviewed on Tuesday. 

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government “will continue to closely monitor the data so that those decisions, which will be difficult and finely balanced decisions, are based on the most up-to-date picture possible.”

Announcing the tiered system late last month, Ms Sturgeon suggested that Edinburgh and the Lothians could be lowered from level 3 to level 2 if infection rates continued to stabilise in the region.

Sturgeon on the furlough scheme extension

Ms Sturgeon welcomed yesterday’s announcement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak that the furlough scheme would be extended until March 2021. 

“As you know, the Scottish Government has been calling for that extension for some time, so we very much welcome that commitment,” she said. 

“It ensures that support will be there for businesses in Scotland, both under the current restrictions and also if stronger action becomes necessary in order to suppress the virus. ”

Sturgeon joins meeting of British and Irish Council

Ms Sturgeon said the key issue discussed at the meeting of UK, Irish, and devolved government leaders was the economic impact of the pandemic. 

She said the meeting was “very constructive” and insisted that leaders should meet in future to "continue to work constructively."

Sturgeon confirms the latest statistics

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that 31 coronavirus deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, with 1,072 new cases. 

She said the new infections represented 5.5 per cent of all those who had been tested since yesterday.

The total number of infections in Scotland since the start of the pandemic now stands at 70,732.

A breakdown of the cases:

  • 460 of the cases were recorded in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • 210 were recorded in NHS Lanarkshire
  • 112 were recorded in NHS Lothian
  • 75 were recorded in NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • The remaining cases were spread across seven other health board areas

Ms Sturgeon also confirmed that 15 fewer people were in hospital with the virus - the figure now stands at 1,237.

98 people are being treated in ICU, however, three more than yesterday.

Briefing scheduled for lunchtime

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will hold a virtual coronavirus briefing at 12.15pm with chief nursing officer Fiona McQueen.

64,000 deaths in the UK

More than 64,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK, new figures show.

A total of 61,498 deaths have so far been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the latest reports from the UK’s statistics agencies.

This includes 1,053 deaths in Northern Ireland up to October 30 (and registered up to November 4), which were confirmed by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on Friday.

Since these statistics were compiled, a further 2,442 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 24 in Scotland, 163 in Wales and 43 in Northern Ireland, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Together, these totals mean that so far 64,170 deaths involving Covid-19 have taken place in the UK.

Covid-19 linked to worse stroke outcomes

People who have strokes while infected with Covid-19 appear to be affected more severely and left with greater disability, a study has suggested.

Having the virus at stroke onset was also associated with more than double the mortality rate of other stroke patients, according to the findings published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Researchers found evidence that suggests people of Asian descent might be more likely to experience Covid-19-associated ischaemic strokes – those caused by blockage of blood vessels supplying the brain – than those in other groups in the UK.

The researchers reviewed evidence from 86 people who had a stroke in England or Scotland and had Covid-19 at stroke onset, between March and July this year, and compared them to 1,384 stroke cases during the same period in people who did not have any evidence of Covid-19.

The findings build on previous studies led by UCL researchers which have also suggested that some people with Covid-19 are experiencing neurological symptoms and that the infection may increase the risk of stroke.

Lead researcher Dr Richard Perry, of UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery UCLH, said: “By comparing characteristics and outcomes of strokes experienced by people with and without Covid-19, we found that there were differences between the groups, suggesting that Covid-19 exerts an influence over the presentation of stroke.

“Some of the differences relate to what other studies are uncovering about Covid-19, in that it might make blood stickier and more likely to clot.”

Alister Jack: Furlough not just extended to cover English lockdown

The Scottish Secretary has denied furlough was only extended because of the second national lockdown in England.

Alister Jack reiterated furlough is intended for the whole country, despite a backlash from politicians in Scotland and Wales who had previously been denied requests for an extension in the weeks and months before it had initially been planned to close on October 31.

Furlough was first extended for the period of England’s lockdown until December 2, but on Thursday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further extension until the end of March due to a rise in coronavirus cases and prevalence of the virus.

Asked on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme about the timing of the initial extension to cover the English lockdown – as Scotland entered new levels of restriction and Wales neared the end of a firebreak – he said: “No, I don’t accept that it has changed because of England – the Job Support Scheme is for the whole country.

“The scheme was moving into the Job Retention Scheme… and at that point when we saw us getting back into more difficult, harsher economic conditions through the lockdown, the Chancellor adapted the scheme.

“This is a fast-moving health crisis, an evolving position, and we have to evolve our approach to respond.

“With England going into lockdown there was a need to reset the Job Support Scheme which as you know was designed when there was a lower prevalence of the virus during the summer.

“On Saturday October 31 that was the last day of the initial scheme, and then the initial scheme has been rolled forward and throughout Wales’s circuit-breaker it was a receiving the full support.”

Mr Jack also confirmed if someone was employed on September 23 and made redundant subsequently, “your employer could reemploy you now and put you back on to furlough so we have addressed that problem”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have access to the Government’s furlough scheme if they have to introduce lockdown measures to combat Covid-19 at a different time to England.

Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said the extension to furlough is “positive but long overdue”, with new funding for the devolved administrations also announced.

Wales’s economy minister Ken Skates also welcomed the move, saying it “shows the value today of a union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland working together”.

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