Coronavirus: 'Keep careful approach and we could return to normality sooner than expected'
At the daily briefing on Covid-19, Nicola Sturgeon said that, despite falling numbers of cases and deaths in hospital and ICU admissions reported every day, caution should be exercised to ensure that lockdown measures do not have to be reimposed.
On Thursday, the First Minister is expected to announce a move to the second phase of the route map out of lockdown.
She said: "The evidence suggests that the careful approach we have adopted so far is working.
"The lesson I take from that is that we should stick with that plan, not discard it.
"Because, and this of course is the much harder bit, while transmission of the virus is much reduced the virus has not gone away yet.
"We still have a significant number of infected people in Scotland and we are still seeing new cases every day.
"The risk remains that if we move too quickly, and if we come into contact with too many people, cases of the virus could start to multiply again very quickly and we need to avoid that happening."
The First Minister went on to say that, if the strategy remains the same and the virus continues to be suppressed, then returning to normality could happen sooner than "previously thought possible".
She pointed to increases in infection rates in England and in certain states in the US as a reason for continuing the cautious approach, to ensure measures do not have to be reapplied.
A total of 2,448 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by one from 2,447 on Saturday, the Scottish Government has announced.
New statistics show that 15,755 people have tested positive for the virus north of the border, up by 25 from 15,730 the previous day.
There are 964 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a decrease of 19 in 24 hours.
Of these patients, 15 were in intensive care, down by five from the previous day.
Moving to phase two, which the First Minister may announce on Thursday, would mean the opening of smaller shops, people being able to meet other households indoors and some factories and other non-office indoor work places being allowed to reopen.
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