What did Nicola Sturgeon say in her Covid update for Scotland?

Nicola Sturgeon ruled out a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown but urged caution after another record day for Covid cases in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon gave a Covid update amid rising case numbers in Scotland (Photo: PA)Nicola Sturgeon gave a Covid update amid rising case numbers in Scotland (Photo: PA)
Nicola Sturgeon gave a Covid update amid rising case numbers in Scotland (Photo: PA)

The First Minister dismissed speculation that her government was considering a “circuit breaker” lockdown but warned that the numbers on hospitalisations are being watched closely.

Scotland recorded four coronavirus deaths and 6,835 new cases in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon said – a record daily high for positive tests.

The death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – stands at 8,103.

At-a-glance: 5 key points

  • Speaking during a Scottish Government briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said that while 6,835 cases was a new record, there was also a record number of tests on Thursday.
  • She said the daily test positivity rate is 14.2%, up from 11.5% the previous day.
  • A total of 479 people were in hospital on Thursday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up 53, with 47 patients in intensive care, no change.
  • Sturgeon said that it is “really important” that everyone in Scotland take steps to follow the basic guidance around coronavirus. “Please get vaccinated, and get tested regularly,” she said.
  • The First Minister ruled out a return to lockdown but said that her government constantly assess the “harm indicators” around hospitalisations

What did Nicola Sturgeon say?

Asked about the possibility of lockdowns, Sturgeon said: “I understand the question of what’s the point in time that you would make a decision to move to restrictions.

“It is not that binary... We monitor this on an ongoing basis. We look at this in a lot of detail.

“In terms of the change in how much we look at cases and the number of people in hospital, that has been changing, because of vaccination breaking the link between the number of those getting Covid and the number of those in hospital.

“We do look more now at the harm indicators.

“Thankfully, all of these things are at a much lower level than they would have been compared to earlier in the pandemic before vaccinations.

“In the past seven days we have reported more new cases than at any previous time in the pandemic, although I refer back to my point about higher levels of testing, but case numbers have roughly doubled over the course of the past seven days,” she said.

“It’s important to point out that case numbers are rising across the UK just now, but after a period of slower increases in Scotland the rise here is particularly sharp at the moment.

“That is possibly, at least in part, a reflection of the fact that our schools return earlier, with the increased interactions that come with that.”

The First Minister again made it clear that she’s not considering imposing more restrictions.

“I do not want to go back to restrictions,” she said. “I hope we can get through this with all of us behaving sensibly and appropriately.

“I am not looking at options right now for a circuit breaker lockdown.

“The key message right now is that all of us have a part to play. We know the basic things we can do to stop it transmitting.

“It’s about face coverings, keeping a bit of distance, washing our hands, keeping rooms ventilated.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that around one in 140 people in Scotland had Covid-19 in the week to August 20, up from one in 200 in the previous week.

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