Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement - 3 February 2021

Parliamentary statement given by the First Minister on Wednesday 3 February 2021.

Before I give an update on today’s statistics can I take the opportunity to express, I am sure on behalf of all of us, my sadness at the death yesterday of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

During the toughest of times he inspired millions of people and of course he also raised millions of pounds for the NHS. So I am sure I speak on behalf of all of us when I say our thoughts and condolences are with his family and loved ones.

Turning now to today's statistics. 978 new cases were reported yesterday, that is 5.1 per cent of all the tests that were carried out.

The total number of cases therefore now stands at 182,269.

There are currently 1,871 people in hospital, that is a decrease of 63 from yesterday, and 128 people are in intensive care, which is 12 fewer than yesterday.

However I regret to report that, in the past 24 hours, a further 88 deaths were registered of patients who had first tested positive in the previous 28 days.

And the total number of people who have died under that daily measurement is now 6,269.

However, National Records of Scotland has also just published its weekly update - that includes cases where Covid is a suspected or contributory cause of death.

And today’s update shows that by Sunday, the total number of registered deaths linked to Covid - under the wider definition - was 8,347.  

440 of those deaths were registered last week, which is 12 fewer than in the previous week.

301 of the deaths occurred in hospitals, 97 in care homes, 38 at home or in other non-institutional settings and 4 of them in other institutions.

And yet again I want to send my condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one during the pandemic.

I can also report that as of 8.30am this morning, 649,262 people had received their first dose of vaccine that is an increase of 38,484 since the figure reported yesterday. This is the highest daily total so far and it is 59% up on the same day last week.

As I said yesterday the total figure includes 98% of residents in older people’s care homes who have not just been offered the vaccine but have actually been vaccinated with the first dose, and in addition 87% of over 80 year olds living in the community have also now had the first dose. Now that figure is based on our original estimate of the number of over 80’s but as I said yesterday work is being done with health boards to refine this estimate suggests that that percentage might actually now be higher.

And as of this morning I can report that 28% of people aged 75 to 79 have also had the first dose.

Let me thank everyone working across the country to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible and also the public for the quite extraordinary uptake so far.

Now finally, there is one other issue I just want to briefly draw to Parliament’s attention to today.

The Independent Review of Adult Social Care has just published its report.

I would like to thank the Chair, Derek Feeley, and the advisory panel of experts, for their work over the last five months.

And also to thank everyone who has taken the time to share their experiences.

Today’s final report covers all aspects of adult social care services, and amongst its 53 recommendations it calls for the creation of a National Care Service.

The Government will respond to its recommendations in due course, and the Health Secretary has requested a Parliamentary Debate on the report later this month.

The pandemic has shown us – more starkly than ever before – just how much our care services matter.

So the Review report provides us with a basis for significantly improving these services, and of course is a vital first step towards the creation of a national care service.

Let me conclude with a reiteration of the key ask of all of us right now, please stay at home except for essential purposes, staying at home remains essential to getting and keeping the virus under control as we vaccinate more and more people.

The sacrifices being asked of everyone are hard but they are working so please stick with it, remember FACTS when you are out but unless it is essential to be out of your home, stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

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