After 100 days of lockdown, Scotland is faced with a “genuine chance” of eliminating Covid-19 – but also a “moment of real danger”, the First Minister has said.
Speaking in her lunchtime briefing today (Tuesday), Nicola Sturgeon again praised folk’s efforts in achieving the “sustained and significant” reduction in the virus.
Although three Covid-related deaths had been reported overnight, following four consecutive days with no fatalities, Ms Sturgeon said the overall trend remained positive.
She offered her condolences to the families of those who had died.
However, speaking on the 100th day of lockdown, Ms Sturgeon also said it was a good time to look at “how far we’ve come”.
“At the time lockdown started, coronavirus was starting to run out of control in Scotland and because of that, two weeks after the start of lockdown, in early April, hospital admissions averaged over 200 every single day,” she said
“Two weeks after that, coronavirus deaths in Scotland averaged more than 90 every day.”
Ms Sturgeon said the current position, with just four hospital admissions a day, consistently low numbers of cases and a sharp reduction in the death rate was “massive and very welcome progress”.
The First Minister thanked everyone who had helped achieve it.
“I believe we now have a genuine chance to come as close as it is possible to get to eliminating this virus in Scotland,” she said.
“Of course, we will then have to work to make sure we keep it at those levels.
“And that gives us the best possible chance of seeing more of our friends in less restrictive circumstances, reopening the economy and being able to fully reopen our schools.
“So this is a moment of great opportunity – but also a time of very real danger.”
Ms Sturgeon said everyone had to work to make sure “progress is not lost – or even worse, reversed.”
She highlighted outbreaks in Leicester and the World Health Organisation’s recent assessment that globally, the virus was “speeding up” – as a “loud reminder that this virus hasn’t gone away”.
After 100 days of “hard sacrifice” Ms Sturgeon said the easing of lockdown and the positive statistics posed a “real risk that people will let their guard down”.
“It will seem as though life is getting back to normal,” she said.
“And I want to stress that life right now can’t and shouldn’t get back to normal because the virus is still here.”