There is cautious hope in the Covid battle - leader comment

There has been little from the daily coronavirus statistic updates to lift the spirits of a locked-down nation.

New tribute posters to key workers have apeared in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

We have become used to the daily figures being trotted out in London and Edinburgh detailing the number of deaths, those in intensive care and rate of new infections.

Those of us fortunate enough not to have not experienced personal loss may even have become desensitised to the grim toll.

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But these are not just statistics.

Each of the 2,415 patients who have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus represents a family left devastated.

A father, mother, son or daughter taken too soon by a cruel invisible killer.

As lockdown is gradually eased, and life perhaps appears to be beginning to return to some semblance of normality, we must not forget the appalling impact of this virus, and the continued risk it poses. Yesterday brought the news of no new deaths in Scotland for the first time since lockdown began.

There are caveats, particularly as reporting of deaths over the weekend is often delayed, but there is no doubt that this is a positive sign and a rare piece of good news in the battle against coronavirus. That we have got to this point is thanks to the sacrifices that we have all made in recent months, unthinkable restrictions on civil liberties which have, in the main, been accepted and complied with by all.

Many have suffered the pain of being separated from family, have faced economic and work worries, or heartbreakingly have been unable to attend funerals to mourn loved ones.

We must not be tempted to throw all away by letting our guard down too soon.

The rush to return to normality as quickly as possible, particularly from business, is understandable but must be tempered if we are to avoid a second devastating wave.

From today people arriving in Scotland from abroad will have to quarantine for 14 days or face a £480 fine.

These are not normal times and will not be for some time.

As the health secretary Jeane Freeman said yesterday, if things are beginning to feel normal then you are not following the guidance.

The news of no new deaths in Scotland yesterday came as the worldwide death toll from Covid-19 was said to have passed 400,000.

There is hope today but it comes with a huge degree of caution.

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