LiveNicola Sturgeon coronavirus briefing recap

A recap of the live updates on the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland.

Keep up-to-date with the latest Covid-19 developments in Scotland.

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Coronavirus in Scotland.
Coronavirus in Scotland.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Last updated: Friday, 11 December, 2020, 09:03

  • Regions to be moved down from Level 4 lockdown on Friday
  • Edinburgh to remain in Level 3
  • John Swinney cancels Scottish Higher exams
  • Two allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccine confirmed

Heathrow Terminal 4 will not reopen next year

Heathrow’s Terminal 4 will remain closed throughout next year as demand for air travel struggles to recover.

The west London airport made the announcement as it said passenger numbers for November were down 88% compared with the same month last year.

Just 747,000 people travelled through the airport last month.

Terminals 3 and 4 have been closed since April and May respectively, with all flights operating from Terminals 2 and 5.

The airport urged the Government to introduce full business rates relief for all UK airports and abandon its plan to scrap tax-free shopping for international visitors from January 1.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “2021 should be the year of Britain’s economic recovery.

“But recent announcements, such as the tourist tax, could be the final nail in the coffin for struggling businesses such restaurants, hotels and theatres that rely on inbound tourists, as well as for retailers.

“To make global Britain a reality, the Government should be helping the aviation sector to survive, to develop routes to our key trading partners, and attract businesses and tourists to come to Britain to spend their money.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said it is “improbable” that political discussions would not have taken place between Nicola Sturgeon and her husband, SNP chief executive Peter Murrell.

Health chiefs release part of Lothian coronavirus care homes report

NHS Lothian has identified five cases of patient transfers from its hospitals to care homes that coincide with outbreaks within care settings during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The health board, which has so far refused all freedom of information requests from journalists and politicians regarding patient transfers at the height of the pandemic, has now published an overview of its own internal investigation into care home transfers.

However, the health board is still refusing to say exactly how many hospital-to-care-home discharges likely resulted in coronavirus outbreaks in care settings.

Health chiefs release part of Lothian coronavirus care homes report

NHS Lothian has identified five cases of patient transfers from its hospitals to care homes that coincide with outbreaks within care settings during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Travel ‘reignited’ coronavirus after lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon also referred to new reports submitted to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which she said highlighted the role of travel in “reigniting outbreaks of the virus after it has been suppressed”.

She said that showed that travel restrictions are a “vital part of tackling the virus and trying to keep it contained rather than allowing it to spread across the country”.

Student infection rate currently ‘relatively low’

Nicola Sturgeon added that the number of positive tests from these students would be published next week – but that the number was “currently thought to be relatively low”.

With mass community testing also under way in six areas of west and central Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said that 13,000 tests had been carried out in the period up to December 7.

“In total, community testing has so far identified 426 positive test samples across these six test centres,” Ms Sturgeon said.

That gives a positivity rate of about 3%, she added, saying the community testing allowed people to be tested even if they do not have coronavirus symptoms.

“The tests over the past week have identified positive cases that might well not have been identified otherwise,” Ms Sturgeon added.

“This pilot programme is showing us that community testing can play a part in controlling Covid, especially in areas with high-level transmission.”

She said this would inform a “much wider use of mass testing” in the new year.

New report highlights student infection rates

Nicola Sturgeon said a new report on coronavirus outbreaks among students showed that between the start of August and the end of November there were almost 3,000 cases linked to “student postcodes” – which are postcodes for halls of residence or other student accommodation.

Almost two-thirds of the cases occurred in a three-week period between late September and early October, Ms Sturgeon added.

She said more than three-quarters of the cases had been found in Edinburgh and Glasgow – with around a quarter found in students living in the Pollock Halls of Residence at Edinburgh University and Glasgow University’s Murano Halls.

The First Minister also referred to a Public Health Scotland report which showed that in the seven days after  November 30, some 22,000 tests on students were carried out using lateral flow devices.

These more rapid tests are being offered to those university students planning to return home for Christmas, with Ms Sturgeon noting that because students are being urged to be tested twice, the figures do not mean 22,000 people have been tested.

But she said it was a “promising figure” which showed “strong uptake of the testing on offer to students”.

FM thanks ‘enormous undertaking’ of vaccine rollout

With coronavirus vaccinations having started on Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon thanked all those involved.

“The vaccination programme is a major, enormous undertaking,” she said.

“We know there are challenges that still lie ahead in it but it was hugely encouraging, I would go as far as to say it was actually inspiring to see it get under way yesterday.”

The First Minister said she would announce provisional figures for the number of people who have been vaccinated when she updates MSPs on Thursday.

Coronavirus in Scotland: 39 people have died and 897 more people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours

The First Minister announced today in her daily coronavirus briefing that in the last 24 hour Scotland has recorded 897 new coronavirus cases and 39 more deaths in the last 24 hours.

Latest coronavirus figures for Scotland

Scotland has recorded 39 deaths from coronavirus and 897 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said.

It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 3,989.

The figures are lower than the 5,868 deaths given earlier by the National Records of Scotland as they do not include suspected and probable coronavirus infections.

Ms Sturgeon said 102,372 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 101,475 the previous day.

The daily test positivity rate is 4.6%, down from 5.5% on the previous day.

Of the new cases, 225 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 150 in Lothian and 147 in Lanarkshire.

There are 972 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 11 in 24 hours.

Of these patients, 50 are in intensive care, down by seven.

Sturgeon confirmes 39 new confirmed coronavirus deaths in last 24 hours

NRS release latest weekly figures

A total of 5,868 people have died in Scotland with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, according to the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

The figures show 232 deaths relating to Covid-19 were registered between November 30 and December 6, down 20 from the previous week

Of these, 145 were in hospital, 78 in care homes and nine at home or in a non-institutional setting.

There were 73 deaths in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 53 in Lanarkshire, and 34 in Ayrshire and Arran.

The statistics are published weekly and account for all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

Sturgeon briefing to begin shortly

Two allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccine confirmed

One of the UK’s top medical officials has confirmed that two NHS workers with a history of serious allergy suffered an allergic reaction after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday.

Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told the Commons Science and Technology Committee that regulators were “looking at” the two cases.

Both staff members are understood to have had a significant history of allergic reactions – to the extent that they carried adrenaline auto-injectors with them.

The MHRA has since given precautionary advice to NHS trusts that anyone who has a history of “significant” allergic reactions to medicines, food or vaccines should not receive the jab from Pfizer/BioNTech.

Two people have had allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccine, UK health chief says

One of the UK’s top medical officials has confirmed that two NHS workers with a history of serious allergy suffered an allergic reaction after receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday.

Ward locked down after coronavirus outbreak

An Infection Prevention and Control team have locked down a ward at the Borders General Hospital in an attempt to contain a coronavirus outbreak there.

NHS Borders said Ward Seven at the hospital, in Melrose, is now closed to admissions after eight confirmed cases of the virus were identified among patients.

A small number of staff members are also currently symptomatic and awaiting test results.

Read the full story: 

Ward locked down after coronavirus outbreak in Borders General Hospital

An Infection Prevention and Control team have locked down a ward at the Borders General Hospital in an attempt to contain a coronavirus outbreak there.

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