Coronavirus: ‘Don’t be tempted outside by the good weather’


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Scotland’s national clinical director has warned against people being tempted to go outside by the good weather as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Prof Jason Leitch said the pandemic was “the greatest health challenge of our time”.

But he insisted it could peak “within two or three weeks” if the public continued to follow the government’s “lockdown” measures.

The total number of deaths in Scotland now stands at 33.

Prof Leitch told the BBC: “It’s sunny in Glasgow today but I was honestly hoping that it would rain because I want to see people staying at home.

“We don’t want people to be tempted to go outside or gather in groups or visit their family outside of their house.

“If people do what we are asking them to do, it is our scientific evidence that in two or three weeks we will start to see that peak because it will be reduced by what we are doing in our society.”

There have been 1,059 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Scotland – an increase of 165 since Thursday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday there were 72 patients in intensive care units across the country.

Scotland’s coronavirus cases

Prof Leitch said emerging from the coronavirus peak would not be like “flicking a switch”.

He said: “It’s not going to be like a cliff edge. It’s not going to be (a case of) we’ve hit the peak on a Tuesday and everyone can go to the pub on the Wednesday.

“If you imagine the curve on the way in, we’re also going to have a curve on the way out.

“And we are learning from other countries, because you can see in Hong Kong for example, where they have released quite a lot of the measures, that they have now got new cases and the numbers are rising.

“We are going to have to be very careful to follow the science on the way out as we have on the way in.”

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Prof Jason Leitch said it was no exaggeration to describe the pandemic as “the greatest health challenge of our time”

Meanwhile, the first minister has announced £3.8m extra funding for NHS mental health support services, and said people should look at the NHS inform website for details of helplines and services.

Some of the money will be used to expand the mental health hub so that support can be given 24-hours-a-day to people who have called the NHS 24 helpline.

Ms Sturgeon also sent her “best wishes” to Prime Minister Boris Johnson after it emerged he had tested positive for Covid-19,.

The first minister said she had not been tested, and added: “I don’t underestimate how difficult it is to be positive for this virus.”



BBC News

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