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Scotland has seen three deaths from Covid in a single day for the first time in nine weeks.
And ‘every’ mainland health board area in Scotland has also seen positive Covid cases, it was revealed this afternoon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that the pandemic is ‘accelerating’ across Scotland and the world, and was ‘unfortunately spreading’ again.
And she strongly indicated that Thursday’s planned review of Scotland’s next steps out of lockdown is likely to see some restrictions now remain in place longer.
She said three deaths had been registered in Scotland in the past 24 hours having tested positive for Covid in the last 28 days. It brings the total of fatalities in Scotland under that measure to 2,499 since the pandemic began
‘Today is the first occasion on which three deaths have been reported in our daily figures since June 30,’ she told a media briefing this lunchtime
‘This reminds us of the impact that the virus has had, and continues to have.’
She said she saw it as a ‘warning signal’ and urged people to heed it.
A total of 267 people are in hospital across Scotland with confirmed cases – up 11 on yesterday. The figures suggest the number in the NHS Highland area, which includes Argyll and Bute, could be five or less.
Six patients are in intensive care across Scotland – one more than Monday – although because of how the figures are published, it does not identify which health boards they are a patient under.
An additional 176 positive Covid cases were confirmed yesterday, she said.
Overall that takes the total number of cases in Scotland to more than 21,700.
Restrictions now also apply in five local authority areas of Scotland – an increase of two, according to the government.
They are East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Glasgow City.
Those areas experienced a ‘worrying’ increase in cases, said Mrs Sturgeon.
That means people in those areas should not ‘host’ people from other households indoors or visit someone else’s home – no matter where it is, she said.
As the First Minister explained: ‘I live in Glasgow City, I should not have people in my home and nor should I visit my parents who live in Ayrshire, even though Ayrshire is not one of the affected council areas.’
Mrs Sturgeon has also advised that when people go out it is ‘far better’ to stay in a single pub than visiting several.
‘If you spend time in three or four different bars, you are significantly increasing the number of people who could transmit Covid to you,’ she said.
‘If you have Covid, but don’t yet have symptoms, you are significantly increasing the number of people you could infect.’