Coronavirus Scotland RECAP: Nicola Sturgeon gives lunchtime Covid-19 update today | Scotland lockdown roadmap | 'Cautious optimism' as Glasgow remains in level three | Lockdown decision by Friday | Top 10 areas with highest vaccine rates

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

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 8:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 1:49 pm
Live updates on Covid-19 from Scotland, the UK, and around the world.

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE:

Last updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2021, 13:32

  • 318 new Covid-19 cases reported on Tuesday
  • Two more deaths confirmed
  • Nicola Sturgeon to give Covid update in Tuesday briefing
  • Vaccine appointment registration opens for Scots aged under 30

Sturgeon signals ‘cautious optimism’ on Covid-19 outbreak in Glasgow

Nicola Sturgeon has said there are signs for “cautious optimism” about the Covid-19 outbreak in Glasgow, which remains at a higher restriction level than anywhere else in Scotland.

The First Minister told a Scottish Government briefing there may now be signs that cases in Glasgow are stabilising.

Glasgow City Council is the only local authority area in to remain in Level 3 of restrictions – prohibiting different households mixing at home and meaning hospitality venues cannot sell alcohol indoors.

Travel in and out the area is prohibited.

Ms Sturgeon said: “In Glasgow, the seven-day average of new cases has increased since Friday: from 112 new cases per 100,000, to 137.

“However, it’s important to recognise that the extensive public health efforts that are underway in Glasgow will take time to work through, given the scale and complexity of the city so it’s important that we don’t lose heart.

“In fact, just in the last two days or so, we may have started to see some signs that case numbers are stabilising. Test positivity has also remained fairly stable over the past few days, at around 4%, so that would be another reason to be cautiously optimistic that we’re not seeing test positivity shoot up on an ever-increasing basis.”

She said there are also positive signs in East Renfrewshire, which remained in Level 2 on Friday despite having a higher seven-day average case rate than Glasgow.

Cases in Scotland as a whole are rising with numbers doubling in the past 16 days, she said, but from a “very low level”.

The latest data on Tuesday shows two deaths of coronavirus patients and 318 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.

It means the death toll under this daily measure, of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days, is 7,666.

Ms Sturgeon said while some of the recent case rise would be due to higher testing levels, the percentage of tests that were coming back positive – 2% on Tuesday – had been “creeping up”.

She added: “Some of the increase in case numbers being recorded just now will be due to the easing of restrictions over the past month.”

But she said “another important factor” was the latest variant of Covid-19.

The First Minister said while case numbers were rising they were still “quite low relative to the situation we experienced in the early part of this year” – saying this also applied to hospital and intensive admissions – with the number of hospital patients reaching more than 2,000 in January as the second wave hit.

She said 97 people are in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, up three on the previous day. Of these, six are in intensive care, up one.

Ms Sturgeon said vaccination may allow the country to “change our response” to the virus.

She said: “Increasingly we are monitoring whether and to what extent vaccination might be breaking that link between rising case numbers and significantly rising cases of serious illness and death.

“And if that does prove to be the case, as we hope it will, we hope our response to this virus can evolve as well.”

She said this “might mean we don’t have to react quite so aggressively with tough restrictions in the face of rising case numbers”.

She added this would be a “key factor” in decisions going forward, both in relation to Glasgow and the country as a whole.

Ms Sturgeon said Scotland had reached the “fantastic milestone” of having administered more than five million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, with 3,138,366 first doses and 1,881,214 second doses.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the jab rollout has played to the strengths of the UK’s four nations, telling MPs: “That Dunkirk spirit, coming together, the flotilla, the volunteer vaccinators, 80,000 of them, the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, our armed forces and our local government colleagues.”

Coronavirus vaccination in Scotland: Here are the top 10 Scottish areas with the highest vaccination rates

These are the 10 areas in Scotland with the highest vaccination rates as cases increase

These are the 10 local authority areas in Scotland with the highest vaccination per population rates.

Nicola Sturgeon LIVE

Nicola Sturgeon said efforts were underway to accelerate the vaccination programme “as far and as fast as supplies allow”, adding that this includes speeding up second doses.

But she said: “At some sites over the weekend we saw quite a high level of non-attendance for appointments which had been scheduled.”

However she stressed that overall uptake rates for the vaccine remained “incredibly high”.

She told people getting vaccinated was not only about protecting themselves from the virus “it is also part of our civic duty to each other and our wider communities”.

With a new service having been set up to allow people aged 18 to 29 to register for vaccination, she said that in the first 16 hours of the online system being available more than 22% of people in that age group had registered, saying this was “brilliant”.

Nicola Sturgeon LIVE

Speaking about East Renfrewshire, which had been considered for Level 3 restrictions, Nicola Sturgeon said that the “situation may have stabilised” adding that case numbers “may have fallen very slightly”.

In Glasgow she said the seven-day average of new cases had increased, from 112 new case per 100,000 people to 137 new cases per 100,000 people.

But the First Minister stressed the “extensive public health efforts that are under way in Glasgow will take time to work through”.

She urged people in the city not to “lose heart”, saying that in the past two days or so “we do think we may have started to see signs that case numbers in Glasgow are stabilising”.

She added that the percentage of tests coming back positive in the Glasgow City Council area had been “fairly stable” in recent days at “around 4%”.

Data for both these areas will be monitored, along with figures for hospital and intensive care admissions, before a decision on restriction levels later this week.

Nicola Sturgeon LIVE

Nicola Sturgeon said while case numbers were rising they were still “quite low relative to the situation we experienced in the early part of this year” – saying this also applied to hospital and ICU admissions – with the number of hospital patients reaching more than 2,000 in January as the second wave hit.

The First Minister said vaccination may allow the country to “change our response” to the virus.

She said: “Increasingly we are monitoring whether and to what extent vaccination might be breaking that link between rising case numbers and significantly rising cases of serious illness and death.

“And if that does prove to be the case, as we hope it will, we hope our response to this virus can evolve as well.”

Ms Sturgeon said this “might mean we don’t have to react quite so aggressively with tough restrictions in the face of rising case numbers”.

The First Minister added this would be a “key factor” in decisions going forward, both in relation to Glasgow – the only part of the Scotland still in Level 3 restrictions – and the country as a whole.

'Belated transparency victory' as Scottish Government agency to publish Covid-19 deaths by hospital figures

An arm of the Scottish Government has u-turned on its decision to block the release of Covid-19 deaths broken down by individual hospital despite claiming their publication was ‘not in the public interest’.

Nicola Sturgeon says she hopes we might not need such 'aggressive' restrictions in future

Nicola Sturgeon LIVE

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed 16,421 people had received their first dose of the vaccine on Monday, while 29,035 Scots were given their second dose.

With the total number of doses of vaccine being given now topping five million, the First Minister said this was a “fantastic milestone” and also a “massive logistical achievement for all of our vaccination teams across the country”.

She told how Scotland was experiencing a rise in cases, noting that over the last 16 days “case numbers albeit from a very low level have actually doubled”.

Ms Sturgeon said while some of this rise would be due to higher testing levels, the percentage of tests that were coming back positive had been “creeping up”.

She added: “Some of the increase in case numbers being recorded just now will be due to the easing of restrictions over the past month.”

But she said “another important factor” was the latest variant of Covid-19.

Mass testing and pop-up Covid vaccination clinics needed in Glasgow, says Anas Sarwar

Mass testing and pop-up Covid vaccination clinics needed in Glasgow, says Anas Sarwar

Mass testing and pop-up vaccination clinics should be put in place in Glasgow to ensure the city can move to level two with the rest of the country, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said.

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