Nicola Sturgeon: It is 'very likely' lockdown will be extended on Thursday

Nicola Sturgeon said it is "very likely" the Scottish Government will continue lockdown measures beyond a scheduled review on Thursday.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. (Photo by JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. (Photo by JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minster Boris Johnson is due to set out a new strategy on how the lockdown will be eased following a review of the current arrangements.

Speaking at her daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon said the infection rate is still too high to make "any meaningful change".

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She revealed a total of 1,576 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by five from 1,571 on Sunday.

The First Minister said 12,226 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 169 from 12,097 the day before.

There are 99 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms and a total of 1,720 people are in hospital with the virus.

Since March 5, 2,780 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have been able to leave hospital.

Ms Sturgeon said although "real and significant progress" is being made, the rate of reproduction of the virus is still too high to relax lockdown measures.

She said some work on a potential transition from lockdown will be published in the coming days and while work would be done to ensure there is alignment with the rest of the UK, divergence in measures could still be possible.

The First Minister added she wants to be delivering a daily briefing "in a few weeks" saying the measures are being eased.

"My big worry is that if we ease up now then I won't be able to do that," she said.

The First Minister also outlined the Scottish Government's test, trace, isolate (TTI) strategy, which she said will aid the easing of the lockdown measures.

Ms Sturgeon said the strategy will only work if the public adheres to it, adding it is not a "quick fix or magic solution" and will need to be done alongside current hygiene guidance.

She said moves are being made to deliver a TTI strategy by the end of May, with testing capacity expected to have to rise to 15,500 per day to support the approach.

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