- 11 Mar 2021
I can report that 591 new cases were reported yesterday, 2.5% of all the tests that were carried out. The total number of confirmed cases is now 207,747. 556 people are in hospital, 26 fewer than yesterday.
And 42 people are in intensive care, that is seven fewer than yesterday.
I regret however to report that, in the past 24 hours, a further 22 deaths have been registered of people who had first tested positive in the previous 28 days.
That means that the total number of people who have died, under that daily measurement, is now 7,483.
Once again, I send my deepest condolences to all those who have lost a loved one.
Turning now to the vaccination programme.
As of 8.30 this morning, 1,825,800 people had received their first dose of the vaccine, which is an increase of 16,642 since yesterday.
In addition, 141,433 people have also now received their second dose, which is an increase of 8,673 since yesterday.
That means that 25,315 people in total received vaccinations yesterday.
From tomorrow, Public Health Scotland will make changes to its Covid dashboard, to improve our reporting of vaccine uptake among health and care workers and care home residents.
However, I can confirm today that virtually all over 65 year olds have now received a first dose.
So have 45% of 60 to 64-year-olds, 38% of 55 to 59-year-olds, and 31% of 50 to 54-year-olds.
We remain on track to offer first doses to everyone over 50, all unpaid carers and all adults with a underlying health condition by mid-April.
Presiding Officer, it is exactly a year ago today that the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic.
The last 12 months have been incredibly tough – unimaginably tough for everybody - but as I indicated on Tuesday, we do now have real grounds for cautious optimism.
Case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths have all fallen in recent weeks.
When we publish the latest estimate of the R number later today, we expect it to show it remains below 1.
And of course, the vaccination programme has now given a first dose to 40% of the adult population – and is set to significantly accelerate over the next few weeks.
Because of that continued progress, I can confirm that we will go ahead – as planned - with the next stage of the reopening of schools on Monday.
In addition changes to the rules on outdoor meetings and activities – which I set out on Tuesday - will come into force tomorrow.
And as I have indicated, next Tuesday, I will provide more information about our plans for the phased reopening of the economy.
Those plans will take account of the positive news we can see at the moment, but will also acknowledge the risks we still face.
Case numbers are still high and, the new variant is highly infectious.
And therefore we do need to exercise caution, for that reason, my advice to everyone is still to follow the same stay-at-home rule.
Stay at home except for essential purposes and please follow the FACTS advice when you are out.
That remains the best way for all of us to both protect the NHS and save lives and I thank everyone for continuing to follow that advice