Nicola Sturgeon: Virus will not peak in a week

The First Minister said 46 people with Covid-19 had died since yesterday.

Nicola Sturgeon has rejected claims of an early peak in coronavirus levels and told Scots that hopes of jetting away for a Summer holiday this year may be thwarted by the pandemic.

The First Minister warned of a "long haul" ahead to get on top of the virus which is likely to last months.

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Photo by HANDOUT/AFP via Getty Images)Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Photo by HANDOUT/AFP via Getty Images)
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Photo by HANDOUT/AFP via Getty Images)
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UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested today that the prospect of an April 12 peak was one "possible outcome" after reports the virus could reach its maximum impact earlier than expected.

But Ms Sturgeon said: "I want to be clear that nothing I have seen gives me any basis whatsoever for predicting that the virus will peak as early as a week's time here in Scotland.

"So I don't want people to have a false expectation based on what they might have been hearing.

"That message is important because I have to ask people to continue to stick with these measures no matter how difficult they are."

She urged Scots to stay at home and maintain social distancing as the best way to slow the virus and protect the NHS and "save lives."

Chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood also played down the prospect of an early peak of the virus.

Modelling being used by Scots authorities is now based on "real cases", rather than mathematical scenarios, the medic said.

"I have been watching these models and the new data as the numbers increase every day and I have not been able to see that the peak will be as soon as we are hearing in the reports in the media today.

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"We need more information. We've also said it would take two to three weeks to be able to have some more certainty.

"And even then there will be some lack of knowledge because of numbers still increasing. So I would urge people to keep going with these stringent measures. Now is not the time to think that perhaps it will also be over soon.

"I've always said that many months will be needed before we can get on top of this virus and be sure we're not going to have a worse scenario later with more of the virus reappearing if people are becoming less stringent with their social distancing."

The prospect of a return to mass air travel in enclosed aeroplane cabins for the Summer holiday season has been called into question recently. Ms Sturgeon said it is too early to make a decision on the issue, but warned Scots not to pack yet.

"I don't think anybody should be under any great expectation that Summer holidays will be happening as normal this Summer," she added.

"I wish I could say otherwise, but right now I don't think that would be a safe assumption."

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