Coronavirus in Scotland RECAP: Jeane Freeman says pandemic has ‘brought grief and heartbreak’ to every corner of the country

Live updates on Covid-19 in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 6:30 am
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 1:52 pm
The latest updates on Covid-19 in Scotland.

Follow along here to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on Friday, March 12.

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Friday, March 11

Last updated: Friday, 12 March, 2021, 12:52

  • First steps out of lockdown as restrictions on outdoor meetings eased
  • Covid-19 absences cost Police Scotland around 140,000 working days
  • Scotland recorded 17 deaths Covid on Friday
  • 682 positive coronavirus tests reported

Latest UK Covid-19 vaccine figures by nation and age group published

A total of 23,053,716 people in the UK have now received a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to Government figures published on March 11.

This is the equivalent of 34.5% of the total UK population, and 43.8% of people aged 18 and over.

– Scotland

As of 7.30am on March 11, 1,825,800 people had received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Scottish Government.

This is the equivalent of 33.4% of the total population of Scotland, and 41.2% of people aged 18 and over.

A total of 97.3% of people aged 80 or over have received their first dose, along with 99.4% of people aged 75-79, 99.9% of people aged 70-74, 96.7% of people aged 65-69 and 45.1% of people aged 60-64.

The number of care home residents who have received their first dose has exceeded the target, as has the figure for staff in older adult care homes. The figure for staff in all care homes is 90%.

Child mental health services could see impact of pandemic ‘for years to come’

Mental health services for young people could be dealing with the impact of coronavirus for “years to come”, a consultant psychiatrist has said.

Dr Julie Arthur said it was clear that more people were struggling during the winter lockdown than at the start of the pandemic.

Writing a blog post for BMA Scotland, she said many patients were presenting themselves to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) while “very unwell”.

Many of these patients needed intensive treatment or hospital admission, she said.

Dr Arthur continued: “Of course, the negative impacts of social isolation on mental health are well known and children need the social interaction and stimulation of school and activities.

“I really worry about our more vulnerable families living in poverty, poor housing and lacking accessible, safe outdoor space.

“We know that the mental health of adults has suffered throughout the pandemic and this inevitably has a huge impact on their children.

“Our colleagues in social work tell us they are equally busy dealing with concerns relating to parental depression, anxiety and alcohol misuse.”

Calling for better recruitment and retention of psychiatrists, she added: “I fear in CAMHS we may not be passed our peak and could be seeing the impact of this pandemic for years to come.

“Services which have struggled with chronically long waiting lists will find it ever harder to cope.”

Covid-19 absences cost Police Scotland around 140,000 working days, MSPs told

Coronavirus has cost Police Scotland around 140,000 working days in terms of officer and staff absences, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has said.

Over the course of the pandemic, there has been about 19,000 individual instances of officers and staff needing to take time off because of Covid-19.

The latest forecast from the force is that coronavirus will add £6.7 million to its day-to-day running costs for the 2020-21 financial year – with this including £3.5 million for personal protective equipment and hygiene, and £2 million on overtime.

Additional costs of £2.6 million have also been incurred for cleaning and decontamination, the chief constable said, adding that the force’s income is also projected to be lower because of the pandemic.

But Mr Livingstone, who included the figures in a letter to Holyrood’s Public Audit Committee, said the overall impact of Covid-19 on revenue costs had been “mitigated by an additional £8.2 million funding from the Scottish Government”.

This, together with action by the force’s management to reduce costs, means its full-year deficit is now expected to be around £36 million.

First steps out of lockdown as restrictions on outdoor meetings eased

From today, up to four adults from two households will be able to meet locally in any outdoor space, including in private gardens, for social and recreational purposes as well as exercise.

Interactions will be able to take place in any outdoor space - including private gardens.

People should only go indoors to reach a back garden or to use a toilet, and households should only meet up close to home.

Outdoor non-contact sports and group exercise will also be allowed for adults in groups of up to 15 people.

People in England will not be able to holiday in Wales when self-contained accommodation reopens at Easter, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.

BBC Scotland to broadcast daily coronavirus briefings with opposition parties during Scottish Parliament election

BBC to include opposition parties in daily Covid-19 briefings during election

BBC Scotland has confirmed plans to allow the opposition parties to contribute to some of its daily coronavirus briefings in the run up to the election in May.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman will hold a coronavirus briefing at 12.15pm with national clinical director Jason Leitch.

Some European countries suspend rollout of Oxford Covid jab - but regulator says it is safe

Some European countries suspend rollout of Oxford Covid jab - but regulator says it is safe

A growing number of countries in Europe have suspended the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine over fears about blood clots.

Coronavirus briefing LIVE: 682 new Covid cases reported on Friday - and 17 further deaths

682 new cases and 17 deaths reported on Friday

Scotland has recorded 17 deaths from coronavirus and 682 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Jeane Freeman said.

It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 7,500.

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, the Health Secretary said 208,429 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 207,747 the previous day.

The daily test positivity rate is 3.4%, up from 2.5% the previous day.

Of the new cases, 276 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 116 in Lanarkshire and 102 in Lothian.

There are 512 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 13 in 24 hours, and 38 patients are in intensive care, down two.

Ms Freeman said 1,844,636 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, up 18,836 from yesterday, and 149,409 have received their second dose.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman says a minute's silence will be held on the 23 March to remember those who have died with the virus

Ms Freeman said with the National Records for Scotland figures the total number of Covid deaths is now “well over 9,000.”

Jason Leitch says case numbers have gone up in Scotland this week.

Covid briefing LIVE

A major study into the impact of vaccination on transmission is “very encouraging”, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has said.

The study of 300,000 people, led by Public Health Scotland and Glasgow University, suggested there is at least a 30% reduction in transmission as a result of the first dose of the vaccine, while the second dose gives at least 54%.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, the Health Secretary said: “It’s obviously very encouraging data indeed.

“We’ve already seen the impact the vaccination programme is having on deaths in care homes and increasingly in the community.

“Today’s study adds to the growing evidence that vaccination can also help reduce the transmission of the virus.”

Jeane Freeman: “I guess the bottom line is that none of us want to go back into lockdown. We want to come out of where we are now in a way that is sustainable and means that we don’t have to move back."

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