No coronavirus deaths recorded on weekday for first time since before lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon said it is significant as registered deaths tend to be artificially low at weekends, when zero deaths have previously been noted.

Nicola Sturgeon wearing a tartan face mask
Nicola Sturgeon wearing a tartan face mask

There have been no deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus registered in the past 24 hours in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

She said this falling on a weekday is significant because zero deaths of positive patients have only previously been recorded around the weekend when registration figures tend to be artificially low.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said this is the first time it has happened on a weekday since before lockdown and means deaths under this measure remain at 2,842.

The proportion of coronavirus tests in Scotland that are positive are now “well below” 1%, she added, and were at 0.3% on Thursday.

Ms Sturgeon said 18,213 people have tested positive for the virus across Scotland, up 17 from 18,196 on Thursday.

She said the percentage of positive tests is “one of many signs of the progress we are making”.

The First Minister told the briefing 823 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a drop of three in 24 hours.

Of these patients, 17 are in intensive care, a fall of one.

She also addressed scenes at Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow on Thursday night, when police were forced to clear the park and two people were arrested.

“While I understand – and I really, really do – people’s desire to enjoy the sunshine on the very few days a year we have any, please avoid crowded places,” she said.

“This virus will take those opportunities if we give them to it, so we mustn’t provide them.”

The First Minister also asked that people who spend time outside take their litter away with them or dispose of it responsibly.

She said: “Refuse collectors across the country are doing an incredible job and I do want to thank them today – but they simply should not be having to clean up after mass gatherings.”

She stressed everyone in Scotland has a duty to ensure the safety of the public and staff when non-essential retail shops open on Monday.

Guidance from the Scottish Government, published on Friday, urged Scots to shop locally – within five miles of their home – shop alone or in as small a group as possible and to choose to visit shops outside of peak times.

Nicola Sturgeon visit to retail park
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, wearing a tartan face mask during a visit to New Look at Ford Kinaird Retail Park in Edinburgh (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

Ms Sturgeon “strongly advised” shoppers wear face coverings to protect others – as she did on a visit to a New Look store on Friday – but she stopped short of making the practice mandatory.

She told shoppers to remain “patient and polite”, adding: “These rules are there for the protection of all of us.

“Abusing retail staff because they’re telling you something that you don’t want to do is not acceptable.

“These people are at work and have to be kept safe too so please treat them with respect and courtesy.”

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