'I am not being unsympathetic' - Nicola Sturgeon does not underestimate Covid impact for students but says self-isolation requirements 'no different' to rest of population
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she does not underestimate the impact of coronavirus restrictions on students - but stressed what is being asked of them is ‘no different’ to the rest of the population.
Ms Sturgeon delivered a message to students today as it emerged seven more people in Scotland who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in the past 24 hours - the highest daily figure since June 17 - with a further 640 positive cases recorded.
A total of 137 people are now being treated in hospital for the virus, with 15 in intensive care.
Hundreds of students have been self-isolating in Scotland after a number of positive cases at university halls this month, sparking criticism of the Scottish Government over shortfalls in testing and failing to predict the danger after similar outbreaks in universities globally.
During her daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said she did not underestimate “for a second” the impact of this virus on students, especially for those just starting university.
But she stressed that what the government is asking students to do around self-isolation is “no different” to what they are asking the rest of the population.
She said: "There will be families right now with one person who tested positive for Covid and the rest of the household is having to isolate, even if they are not displaying symptoms.
"They might live in really cramped accommodation in a city setting and it won’t be easy for them either.
“I am not being unsympathetic but just making the point that other people are having to do that as well.”
During her daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said the rise in deaths was a “very sharp reminder” of the dangers of the virus and that it is highly infectious.
When asked if the public should prepare themselves for a rise in fatalities following a recent rise in infections, she said some of those with infections will inevitably come through as hospital admissions and deaths a few weeks later.
But she added: “We are not powerless.
“We as individuals can actually influence the picture we see in the weeks to come.
"We can interrupt it - we interrupted it in the summer and we can do it again, but it means all of us sticking to the rules."