Nicola Sturgeon lockdown statement RECAP: First Minister to announce 'route map' for easing coronavirus restrictions in Scotland

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is addressing the nation to explain the ‘route map’ that will guide the country out of lockdown, as well as updating the current coronavirus statistics.

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Scottish Government statistics put the country’s death toll at 2, 221 with 14,856 people have tested positive.

These statistics include only those who have been tested for coronavirus, whereas the National Records of Scotland, who have suggested the country’s death toll sits at over 3,500, include those who have coronavirus mentioned on the death certificate.

Coronavirus in Scotland LIVE

Coronavirus in Scotland RECAP: Latest updates on COVID-19 in Scotland

Last updated: Thursday, 21 May, 2020, 12:53

  • Schools in Scotland to reopen on August 11.
  • Phase one of lockdown easing to start on May 28
  • Death toll in Scotland now at 2,221

Welsh Government defends testing policy after referral to human rights watchdog

The Welsh Government has defended its policy on coronavirus testing in care homes after it was reported to the human rights watchdog.

Wales's health minister, Vaughan Gething, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the advice and evidence was that there "wasn't a value" in testing people who were not symptomatic.

His comments came after the BBC reported that the Older People's Commissioner for Wales had reported the administration to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over delays to testing in care homes.

But Mr Gething said: "The advice and the evidence that we had at the time was that people who weren't symptomatic, there wasn't a value in testing them.

"We changed the approach that we took on testing people who were leaving hospital on April 22 onwards."

The Welsh Government has now expanded its testing programme so that every care home in Wales will have access to testing and will be able to order online testing kits for residents and staff.

Previously only residents and staff in care homes with confirmed cases of coronavirus were tested, as were homes with more than 50 beds, anyone being discharged from hospital into a care home, or anyone moving into a care home from the community.

Testing in Wales had been more restrictive than in England, where all care home residents and staff have been eligible for testing regardless of symptoms since the end of April.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said at the time that there was no "clinical value" in testing everyone where no-one was displaying symptoms.

The Office for National Statistics said that, up to May 1, there were 532 deaths involving Covid-19 among care home residents in Wales - the lowest regional total across England and Wales.

Phil Crean, whose mother Joyce died in a care home after showing symptoms of coronavirus, said his family would never have allowed her to be placed in the home if they had heard that there had been Covid-19 cases there.

Mr Crean, from Newport, South Wales, added: "It's an absolute disgrace, isn't it?

"It's throwing sheep to the wolves, it is as simple as that."

Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook's record on coronavirus misinformation

Mark Zuckerberg has defended Facebook's record of combating misinformation on the social network during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Facebook founder and chief executive said the platform removed all content which "puts people in imminent risk of physical harm".

But he argued that freedom of expression was a factor around other content, such as posts around the anti-vaccination movement, which he called a more "sensitive topic" and did not, therefore, need to be completely removed.

Social media and internet companies have come under increased scrutiny during the Covid-19 pandemic, with platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp being criticised for allowing misleading claims to spread.

"We break this (misinformation) into two categories: so there's harmful misinformation that puts people in imminent risk of physical harm, so things like saying that something is a proven cure for the virus when in fact it isn't, we will take that down," Mr Zuckerberg told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Even if something isn't going to cause an imminent risk of physical harm, we don't want misinformation to be the content that is broadly going viral across the networks.

"So if you're seeing something that's going to put people in imminent risk of harm we take that down.

"If you're seeing something that is just wrong we don't take that down but we stop it from spreading generally.

The Facebook founder added that 5G misinformation, which he acknowledged had been "very prevalent" in the UK and has led to a number of phone masts been attacked, is considered an imminent threat and would be removed immediately.

However, a number of anti-5G groups promoting conspiracy theories about the technology remain active on the site.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, a number of online services have introduced tools to try and direct people to accurate information from official health authorities.

Facebook, Twitter and Google all show links to health organisations at the top of search results linked to the virus, which WhatsApp has launched several chatbot services which can directly provide users with up-to-date health advice.

Asked about combating misinformation ahead of the US Presidential election later this year, Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook was better prepared for attempts to influence voters than before the previous election, four years ago.

Update from the Office of National Statistics which covers the English statistics

50 millionth PPE mask flown in to Prestwick Airport

The shipment from China by freight airline CargoLogicAir on Monday follows other supplies including intensive care unit equipment and testing kits.

NHS Scotland said further such flights to the South Ayrshire airport were scheduled.

A spokesperson for NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) said: “The regular series of flights from China continue to bring vital supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Scotland.

FM: Route map to be supplimented in the days ahead

FM: The lockdown restrictions have been necessary, though now creating harms of its own.

FM: Steps going to be gradual and incremental 

FM: Must not act rashly and recklessly - virus has not gone away

FM: The danger of a second wave later in the year is very real indeed

FM: We must continue to take public health advice

FM: Each of us will have an ongoing responsibility to protect ourselves and each other

FM: These proposals cannot be set in stone

Numbers update: 14,856 positive (up 105), 1,318 in hospital, 51 in intensive care (down 2) and tragically, another 37 deaths brings the total to 2,221.

FM: "In my judgement the time is right" for a careful ease of restrictions

Route map will explain future steps and in what order. 

FM: Today’s routemap outlines four phases in emerging from the Covid crisis beyond the

current lockdown phase, and it covers nine key aspects of our lives - seeing friends

and family; travel and getting around; education and childcare; work, business and

the economy; shopping and leisure; sport and culture; public gatherings and special

occasions; communities and public services; and health and social care.

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