LiveCoronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Death toll in Scotland now 1,515 as Nicola Sturgeon announces increased testing

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: Latest updates on Friday, 1 May

Last updated: Friday, 01 May, 2020, 09:40

  • 1,515 people have died in Scotland from Covid-19
  • 1,809 in hospital with Covid-19
  • 40 new deaths in Scotland
  • 11,654 positive cases - up 301

BBC unveils Eurovision content - despite cancellation

The BBC has unveiled its Eurovision content - despite the cancellation of this year's contest.

A "host of Eurovision content" will air this month on TV and radio.

Graham Norton will present a "night of Eurovision fun" on BBC One, with viewers voting for their favourite Eurovision performance from an "eclectic shortlist".

James Newman, who was due to fly the UK flag in The Netherlands in 2020, will be a guest on the show, Eurovision: Come Together.

Global health expert labels Donald Trump's China Covid-19 conspiracy theories 'unhelpful'

A global health expert has labelled President Donald Trump's claim to have seen evidence that the coronavirus outbreak originated in a Chinese laboratory as an "unhelpful" repetition of "debunked conspiracy theories".

Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said: "We have good evidence from the genomics research that the virus is not man-made and the scientific world has very much moved on from this idea.

"It is unhelpful for high-profile individuals to repeat the debunked conspiracy theories as it undermines the public health response."

Royal College of Midwives boss concerned high-risk pregnancies may be missed due to pandemic

The CEO of the Royal College of Midwives has told MPs she was concerned high-risk pregnancies may be missed due to the pandemic, leading to a potential rise in stillbirths and neonatal deaths.

Speaking at the Health and Social Care Committee, Gill Walton said: "Some of that is related to the fear of the pregnant population and presenting to maternity services during the pandemic, and that fear then prevents them even sometimes just picking up the phone to say they may be concerned.

"I believe that maternity services have tried their very best to try and keep providing as much of a normal service as possible.

"I do think it's really important to be getting that message out that maternity services are still open and that women should come forward so that we can keep them and their babies as well as possible."

Ms Walton said that follow-ups on women who miss scans and appointments has been enhanced.

Deprived areas of England harder hit by Covid-19

People living in more deprived areas of England have experienced Covid-19 mortality rates more than double those living in less deprived areas, according to new analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

For deaths involving Covid-19 that took place between March 1 and April 17, the mortality rate for the most deprived areas of England was 55.1 deaths per 100,000 population, compared with 25.3 deaths per 100,000 in the least deprived areas.

The Covid-19 mortality rate is higher among men in the most deprived areas (76.7 deaths per 100,000 population) than it is for women (39.6).

£5.7 million of investment to protect air links between Britain and Northern Ireland

The Department for Transport has announced £5.7 million of investment to protect air links between Britain and Northern Ireland.

It said in a statement: "The package is being funded by the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and will temporarily support airlines and airports that are currently operating, allowing them to continue running air passenger services along two routes from Belfast City, and City of Derry, to London during the coronavirus pandemic."

WHO's David Nabarro says it would be "perfectly reasonable" for the UK to start easing lockdown before full contact tracing system

David Nabarro, the World Health Organisation's special envoy on Covid-19, said it would be "perfectly reasonable" for the UK to start easing the lockdown before a full contact tracing system is up and running.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "Every government is having to make a choice and I understand that the contact tracing process is now well advanced and so that's a reasonable time to be thinking through how lockdown can be eased, and it won't be eased all at once, it will be eased bit by bit."

He added: "You don't need to have 100% contact tracing in order to get the R-number down. The contact tracing is an absolutely essential part of reducing transmission, and getting that capacity as widely spread as possible is key to getting the transmission as low as you can.

“But you certainly can release the lockdown while you're building up the case finding and contact tracing capacity - that's what most other countries are doing.”

Heathrow chief says social distancing at airports 'impossible'

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye described social distancing at airports as "impossible".

He told the PA news agency: "Social distancing does not work in any form of public transport, let alone aviation.

"The constraint is not about how many people you can fit on a plane, it will be how many people you can get through an airport safely.

"If you've ever been on holiday from Gatwick, you cannot imagine going through there and socially distancing in the summer.

"It's just physically impossible to socially distance with any volume of passengers in an airport. The same applies with trains and Tube stations.

"So we need a better solution, which means that in a few months' time, when the disease is under control and with a low risk of infection, we can make it as low risk as possible for people to fly."

Heath

The lockdown has had a 'profound" effect on local councils' funding, Robert Jenrick says

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It is fair to say, because local government derives quite a lot of its income from the charging of fees - car parks, leisure centres and those sort of things - the lockdown is having a profound impact on finan

"That's why we're providing the additional money that we have done over the course of the last two months and I'm going to be working very closely with them to make sure they are on a sustainable financial footing."

He added: "We're going to stand by them and the Covid-related expenditure which we asked them to do - things like social care, bringing 90% of rough sleepers off the streets into safer accommodation, looking after the most vulnerable - that we're going to make sure that they are fully funded for that work."

Jeremy Hunt says UK should follow South Korea's lead in terms of mass testing

Former Conservative health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK should follow the steps of South Korea in terms of mass testing.

Mr Hunt, who chairs the Health and Social Care Committee in the Commons, pointed to South Korea's ability to contact trace which he described as "effective".

Speaking to the Today programme, he said: "The first thing they do which we now will be able to do at the right moment is be able to test not just for coronavirus cases in hospitals and care homes, but actually when people start going back to work to test them in the community."

He added: "That has meant that they are able to stop the virus in its track, so it's much more targeted.

"It's locking down the people who have the virus or might have the virus, but not locking down the whole economy."

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