LiveNicola Sturgeon RECAP: 290 new Covid-19 cases in Scotland

Live updates on coronavirus in Scotland.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 3:49 pm

Keep up-to-date with the latest Covid-19 news in Scotland and around the UK here.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Coronavirus in Scotland (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Coronavirus in Scotland (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Thursday, September 17

Last updated: Thursday, 17 September, 2020, 13:30

  • Labour Leader Keir Starmer to visit Scotland
  • John Swinney warns that 2021 exams could be disrupted by Covid-19
  • New cluster identified at Edinburgh Napier University
  • Testing backlog in Scotland of “several thousand”, says Sturgeon

More than 100 told to self-isolate through Protect Scotland app

More than 100 people have been told to self-isolate as a result of the Protect Scotland coronavirus contact tracing app, according to the First Minister.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon said the technology had been downloaded by more than a million users.

She said the figure shows the app can be effective, and urged others to install it. 

Ms Sturgeon said: “In the week since it was launched, more than one million people have downloaded the Protect Scotland app and I want to thank everyone that has done so. 

“One million is already a big enough number for us to know that the app can make a difference. 

In fact, I can report that more than 100 people have been advised to isolate as a result of using it. 

“I would encourage everyone that hasn’t yet done so to download it. 

“This is a simple – and it is simple – but it’s also an important way in which we can fight Covid-19.”

 Protect Scotland became freely available to download on to smartphones on September 10. 

It tells people if they have been in close contact with someone who later tested positive for coronavirus.

Sturgeon: Scotland’s R number could be as high as 1.4

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government will shortly publish the latest R number estimate, which confirms that it is higher than 1, and could be as high as 1.4.

When the R number is above 1, cases of coronavirus can accelerate. 

"We are also considering carefully, obviously on an ongoing basis, whether any further restrictions may be necessary," Ms Sturgeon said.

Sturgeon: Protect Scotland app has enough downloads to function

Ms Sturgeon said that the million downloads of the app meant it is “already big enough for us to know that the app can make a difference”. 

She revealed that more than 100 Scots have been advised to isolate because they downloaded the app.

Sturgeon thanks Scots for downloading Protect Scotland app

In the week since it was launched more than 1 million people have now downloaded the Protect Scotland app.  I want to thank everyone who has done so.

Nicola Sturgeon

Breakdown of cases in Scotland

Ms Sturgeon said 112 of the new cases were recorded in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 52 were in Lanarkshire, and 47 were in Lothian. The others were spread across several health board regions. 

Nicola Sturgeon: No new deaths in Scotland

The First Minister said 52 people were in hospital across the country, and five were in ICU. 

Nicola Sturgeon: 290 new Covid-19 cases in Scotland in 24 hours

The new cases represented 4% of all those tested in the last day. It brings the total number of positive tests to 23,573.

FMQs: Sturgeon to give Covid-19 update at 12:20pm

Care home linked with 13 Covid-19 deaths rated 'unsatisfactory' for infection control by Care Inspectorate

A care home linked with 13 deaths caused by Covid-19 in April has been told it must improve urgently by the Care Inspectorate after being rated ‘unsatisfactory’ for infection control practices.

Guthrie House in Liberton, Edinburgh, is run by Four Seasons Health Care and was linked to the deaths of 13 residents due to Covid-19 in April.

Five months on and the care home has been criticised by the care homes watchdog for failing to adequately protect its residents from infection after an inspection on September 1.

In a report, submitted to the Scottish Parliament by the Care Inspectorate, the care home is criticised for “serious concerns” relating to cleanliness.

Staff were also found to not be complying with guidance on infection prevention, and “did not fully understand” safe PPE practice.

The home was also slammed for other issues including residents not having easy access to water anywhere in the homes and for not “appropriately” supporting those in pain and distress.

The care home was also criticised for there being “no evidence” to show people living in the care home had been encouraged to keep in contact with family members during lockdown.

However, details were taken of those visiting in order to comply with Test and Protect regulations.

The report stated: “There was no evidence to show that people living within the care home had been encouraged to keep in contact with their families during lockdown. Scottish Government guidance had been implemented with details being taken prior to a family visit to maintain safety for all and to inform Test and Trace should this be required.

“There were serious concerns relating to the cleanliness of the furnishings and equipment used to support people. Staff were not fully complying with current guidance on infection prevention and control and did not fully understand safe practices with regards to PPE.

“Staffing levels were not sufficient for staff to provide social stimulation for people. Some attempts had been made to support social distancing, but these were limited.”

One million downloads of Protect Scotland app

One million Scots have downloaded the “Protect Scotland” mobile app launched by NHS Scotland to trace and test the contacts of people infected with Covid-19.

The app hit the milestone at X this morning, just seven days after it was first made available to download.

More than 500,000 Scots downloaded the application in the 24 hours after its launch.

The Protect Scotland app uses Bluetooth connectivity to inform people if they have been in close contact with someone who later tests positive.

It can be downloaded for free from Apple's App Store or Google Play.

Boris Johnson: ‘Be tough' on coronavirus now to ‘protect Christmas’

Boris Johnson has warned actions to stop a second surge of coronavirus must be "tough now" in order to "protect" Christmas.

The PM said people have to be "both confident and cautious" and that it is "crucial" the country does not re-enter "some great lockdown again that stops business from functioning".

In an interview with the Sun, Mr Johnson said: "Christmas we want to protect, and we want everyone to have a fantastic Christmas.”

"But the only way to make sure the country is able to enjoy Christmas is to be tough now.

Boris Johnson has warned actions to stop a second surge of coronavirus must be "tough now" in order to "protect" Christmas.

"So if we can grip it now, stop the surge, arrest the spike, stop the second hump of the dromedary, flatten the second hump."

Sir Keir has accused both the UK and Scottish governments of looking for excuses and letting the people of Scotland down.

In a landmark intervention, just one day after his child tested negative for coronavirus, Sir Keir demanded the four nations pull together and focus on keeping people safe.

He said: “The number one priority for governments across the United Kingdom must be protecting people’s lives and livelihoods.

“At this crucial time, we cannot have a situation where the four nations of the UK are pulling in different directions”.

“Rather than acknowledging the deep problems with their response to the virus, like the current testing fiasco or the crisis in our care homes, they are dodging blame and attacking each other.”

He said: “As we have seen with the recent blame-game over testing in Scotland, if governments are going to spend their time fighting each other there is only one loser, and that’s the Scottish people.

“Yet in the middle of a global pandemic, the Tories are still banging on about Brexit and the SNP, by their own admission, are still prioritising independence.

“So I say to both governments: get a grip, focus on the job in hand and work together to defeat this virus.

John Swinney: Scottish exams at a ‘very real risk’ of disruption again next year

Education Secretary John Swinney has warned there is a “very real risk” that plans to hold exams could be disrupted again next year.

The Deputy First Minister told Holyrood’s Education Committee he wants exams to go ahead in the spring but the Scottish Government faces a “dilemma” because of the risk of further coronavirus disruption for schools.

An announcement will be made before the half-term break for many Scottish schools on Friday October 2 setting out the plan for exams.

Mr Swinney said the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) is already working on contingency plans if exams are cancelled once again due to coronavirus.

Giving evidence to the committee, Mr Swinney said: “The very real risk remains that there may be further disruptions for individual learners, individual schools and colleges, or more widely across the country during the course of the year.

“And there’s no way of knowing what circumstances we will face in the spring of next year when, in normal circumstances, the exam day would take place.

“That uncertainty and risk of full disruption makes identifying a fair and robust approach an incredibly difficult decision and there are a wide range of views on the best approach to take.”

Sturgeon: 'Several thousand' tests backlog

The scale of the testing backlog problem in the UK and Scotland remains a concern for Nicola Sturgeon as “several thousand” tests are affected by the issue.

The exact figure of how many tests have been delayed by the backlog remains a mystery as both the Scottish Government and the UK department of health refuse to publish the figures.

The First Minister said it was not a case of refusing to give a figure, but that the statistics were “changing all the time” but she indicated the overall number of tests affected had dropped but “several thousand” were still affected with the situation being monitored closely.

When asked whether she was embarrassed by the fact the country is still facing testing issues six months into a global pandemic, the First Minister said she is doing her “level best” to fix the issues.

Speaking at her daily coronavirus briefing, she said: "I would rather we weren’t having problems with testing and I am doing my level best in trying to fix them, I can’t do that on my own with this part of testing because it is a UK-wide network.

“I’m not saying this as an attempt to pass the buck to them, I’m trying to be part of it, that’s why we are looking to do more through the NHS to free up capacity in that.”

Page 1 out of 2>>