Coronavirus in Scotland RECAP: 17 further Covid-19 deaths and hospital cases rise

Live updates on coronavirus in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.

The latest updates on the Covid-19 crisis.

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Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE: The latest updates on Thursday

Last updated: Thursday, 22 October, 2020, 12:19

  • Jason Leitch tells Scots to plan 'digital Christmas'
  • 17 daily deaths from coronavirus
  • 1,712 new positive cases in Scotland
  • A further 17 deaths registered
  • Charity warns of pet poverty crisis in Scotland amid pandemic

Charity warns of pet poverty crisis in Scotland amid pandemic

A vet charity has warned of a pet poverty crisis in Scotland as many owners are struggling with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) says more than 66,000 pets in Scotland have benefited from free and low-cost vet care since the initial lockdown began back in March.

But it has now had to launch a Pet Care Crisis Emergency Appeal to raise funds so it can continue to care for animals across the country.

Between March and September this year, PDSA hospitals and clinics in Scotland carried out 62,873 remote consultations, 1,078 essential or emergency operations, and 2,519 X-rays for pets whose owners can no longer afford vet fees.

Lack of Scottish-UK government talks adding to ‘degree of mistrust’, MPs warn

The UK and Scottish governments need to work together to “learn the lessons” of the Covid-19 pandemic, a committee of MPs has said.

The Scottish Affairs Committee voiced concern that the “lack of regular, timetabled meetings” between ministers in Edinburgh and London could be contributing to a “degree of mistrust” between the two administrations, adding that the pandemic has “laid bare the weaknesses built into the UK systems of governance”.

In a report looking at the impact of coronavirus on Scotland, the committee said the country “was not fully prepared for a pandemic” – despite pandemic planning operations such as Exercise Cygnus in 2016 – and “had not learned lessons from previous exercises in pandemic preparedness when it came to healthcare in Scotland”.

More than 4,300 deaths in Scotland have now been linked to coronavirus, with almost half (46%) taking place in care homes.

The committee heard the virus could result in more than £800 million of Scottish food export sales being lost this year.

Members of EastEnders team test positive for Covid-19

Two members of the EastEnders team have tested positive for coronavirus – but filming has not been disrupted.

The positive tests occurred in separate incidents and both staff members are self-isolating at home, the BBC said.

Cast and crew are adhering to social distancing guidelines, with the use of screens, body doubles and CGI to film intimate moments.

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: “We can confirm that two members of the EastEnders team have tested positive for coronavirus and they are now self-isolating at home following the latest Government guidelines.

“We have rigorous protocols in place to manage Covid-19 as the safety of all those involved in the production is paramount.”

Martin Bashir ‘seriously unwell’ with Covid-19 related complications

Veteran journalist Martin Bashir is “seriously unwell” with coronavirus-related complications, the BBC has said.

The 57-year-old, best known for his 1995 interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, currently works as the BBC News religion editor.

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: “We are sorry to say that Martin is seriously unwell with Covid-19 related complications.

“Everyone at the BBC is wishing him a full recovery.

“We’d ask that his privacy, and that of his family, is respected at this time.”

Liverpool hospitals treating more coronavirus patients than at peak of pandemic

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust is now treating more patients with coronavirus than it was at the peak of the first wave, the medical director has said.

Writing on Twitter, Dr Tristan Cope said: “Sadly we are now treating more patients in hospital with Covid-19 @LivHospitals than we did in April at the peak of the first wave and numbers continue to rise. So important that people in #liverpool and @LivCityRegion adhere to social distancing restrictions.

“Treating so many Covid patients in addition to usual acute and emergency care of patients with non-Covid conditions puts a huge strain on @LivHospitals staff. Thank you to all our staff for their incredible hard work and dedication in dealing with this very difficult situation.

“We can all help reduce that pressure by doing the right thing and taking some very simple measures: washing our hands frequently, keeping our distance from others from outside our household and wearing face coverings in indoor settings.”

Coronavirus in Scotland: Jason Leitch tells Scots to plan 'digital Christmas'

Professor Jason Leitch has said Scots should “get their digital Christmas ready” as he warned that this year's festive season is “not going to be normal” amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Family Christmas could be cancelled after coronavirus chief Jason Leitch said Scots should celebrate 'digitally'

Professor Jason Leitch has said Scots should “get their digital Christmas ready” as he warned that this year's festive season is “not going to be normal” amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will hold a coronavirus briefing at 12.15pm with chief nursing officer Fiona McQueen.

Difficult choices ahead on planning five-tier Covid-19 system, warns adviser

t is too early to say whether any part of Scotland will be placed straight into the toughest set of coronavirus restrictions under Nicola Sturgeon’s new five-tier plan, a senior adviser has said.

Professor Jason Leitch, the national clinical director for the Scottish Government, said the issue of what level of restrictions should be applied in which areas is now being looked at, and will be considered further over the coming days.

He said more data on local infection rates and hospital capacity will be gathered first, before “we make some really difficult choices in our advice about what we say about each local authority”.

The First Minister is on Friday expected to reveal more details about the new system, which is being brought in to curb rapidly surging numbers of Covid-19 cases.

She has already said the three middle tiers will be broadly similar to the new system in England – where areas are classed as being at either “medium”, “high” or “very high” risk.

Analysis: Fears over private firms in Scottish contact tracing while new tiers have publicans crying in their beers

Analysis: Fears over private firms in Scottish contact tracing while new tiers have publicans crying in their beers

Question: When is the outsourcing of government work to private firms, not outsourcing? Answer: When the government agreeing the contracts knows how impossible it is to disperse the political stink associated with any part of Scotland’s NHS being “privatised”.

Covid: The next four months may be one of the hardest periods of your life – Professor Devi Sridhar

Why the next four months may be one of the hardest periods of your life – Professor Devi Sridhar

I have to level with you. The next four months are going to be rough and might be one of the hardest periods in your life.

Ballet company performs for first time since lockdown

The Northern Ballet has returned to the stage in what is believed to be the first major UK dance performance in front of a live paying audience since lockdown began.

The company, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, performed excerpts from a number of ballet classics at the Leeds Playhouse on Wednesday night.

Shapps outlines cost of propping up public transport during Covid-19 pandemic

Up to £12.6 billion of taxpayers’ cash is expected to be spent on propping up public transport during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Grant Shapps.

The Transport Secretary revealed the estimate before confirming £35.4 million will be available to help keep tram services running for the next 12 weeks.

Operators in Sheffield, Tyne and Wear, Manchester and Blackpool will be among those to benefit, Mr Shapps told MPs.

Speaking in the Commons, he said: “The Government will continue to provide the support that is necessary to maintain public transport throughout this pandemic.

“It may be helpful to the House if I were to let them know that the department is expecting to spend between £10.6 billion and £12.6 billion on supporting the transport sector in response to this pandemic.”

The coronavirus Job Support Scheme will be made more generous, with employer contributions reduced and the minimum hours requirement also cut, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

Outdoor learning centres handed £2m to help survive pandemic

Outdoor education centres are to receive £2 million of Scottish Government cash to help the sector survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Announcing the financial support, education minister Richard Lochhead said it should allow the centres – which are currently not permitted to have youngsters for overnight stays – to provide “meaningful experiences”.

But those campaigning for support for the sector said a long-term strategy is still “urgently needed”.

Nicola Sturgeon daily news briefing LIVE: 1,712 new positive cases in Scotland in past 24 hours. A further 17 deaths registered.

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