Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Death toll now at 1,620 with 12,437 positive cases across the country

Updates on coronavirus in Scotland and across the world.

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Latest updates on Tuesday

Key Events

  • 44 new deaths in Scotland from Covid-19
  • Total number of deaths reaches 1,620
  • 12,437 positive tests in Scotland
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Government Scientist Neil Ferguson resigns amid reports that he broke lockdown rules

A key expert in the coronavirus response has resigned from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) after the Daily Telegraph reported that he broke lockdown rules.

Imperial College London's Professor Neil Ferguson is reported to have met his married lover at least twice since the lockdown began, despite being a prominent exponent of the government's coronavirus response

Nicola Sturgeon: The time for easing Scotland's lockdown 'is not now'

The Scottish First Minister spoke as the Scottish Government published an update to its framework for easing coronavirus restrictions.

While she said ministers were working towards "careful and gradual changes" to the lockdown restrictions, she also stressed this would only happen "when we judge it is safe to make them, which I am afraid is not right now".

Coronavirus fact-checking service launches on WhatsApp

A new fact-checking service has launched on WhatsApp, allowing people to check if specific claims around coronavirus have been debunked.

The Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has added a chatbot to the messaging app, which users can ask to show them the latest false claims about Covid-19 which have been rated as false.

Chatbots are artificial intelligence-powered tools which can automatically reply to questions and quickly provide the information requested by a user.

The IFCN chatbot will inform users globally of their local professional fact-checking service and direct them to it, as well as offer guidance on how to fight misinformation.

Reopening schools now 'would overwhelm NHS within two months'

The NHS will be overwhelmed if schools are reopened this month, according to a new Scottish Government paper.

Schools were among the first institutions to close when coronavirus took hold.

The Scottish Government said reopening them in May, in a worst-case scenario, could lead to more than 30,000 people needing hospital treatment.

During the daily briefing on coronavirus in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 26,000 people in Scotland are believed to be currently infectious, with the reproduction rate - or R number - between 0.7 and one.

The Framework for Decision Making document said the latest bed capacity the NHS has for Covid-19 patients is 4,250.

"You should ask yourself if going for a drive-thru coffee really is an essential journey," says Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister says Scottish Government giving particular consideration to businesses in the construction, retail and manufacturing sectors

Regarding the reopening of businesses, Nicola Sturgeon stressed today the need to work with companies and trade unions to "consider the practical arrangements for different work environments to start up safely".

While she said the Scottish Govenrment was "looking carefully" at what UK ministers are doing, she said they were also consulting with organisations north of the border.

"Initially we are giving particular consideration to businesses in the construction, retail and manufacturing sectors, and also to some outdoor and rural businesses," the First Minister said.

But she said where staff could work from home "we are very likely to insist on that for the forseeable future".

Hannock dismisses claims of 'state surveillance' through contact tracing app

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has dismissed warnings by civil liberties campaigners that a new coronavirus contact tracing app could open the door to widespread "state surveillance".

Ministers are urging the public to sign up to the app - which is beginning trials on the Isle of Wight -as a way out of the current lockdown and re-starting the economy.

The Government's efforts to promote the new "test, track and trace" strategy came as official figures showed the death toll had soared past 30,000 and analysis by the PA news agency found at least 140 NHS and care workers have lost their lives.

Fewer than 300 people quarantined as 18.1 million travellers entered UK

Fewer than 300 passengers out of millions coming into the UK from coronavirus hotspots were put into quarantine in the three months before lockdown.

Data provided to Labour MP Stephen Doughty and first published by the Guardian showed that 273 passengers travelling from China and Japan were taken to government isolation centres between January 1 and March 23.

These included travellers on three evacuation flights from Wuhan in China, the source of the outbreak, and one from Japan carrying cruise ship passengers.

Total passenger figures for the same period show that, during those three months, just under 18.1 million people entered the UK from all destinations on scheduled flights or by land or sea.

Nicola Sturgeon says Scottish Government will only implement changes 'when safe to do so'

The First Minister was clear that "options" set out in the new paper was "not a list of things we will definitely do by certain dates".

She added: "This is going to be a long process with different phases along the way and we will only implement these changes when we are as certain as possible it is safe to do so."

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