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Coronavirus update: Change in level restrictions to be decided tomorrow

By Kyle Ritchie

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In Scotland in the last 24 hours there have been a total of 717 positive cases of Covid-19, which equates to 8.3 per cent of those tested overall.

At the Scottish Government's daily briefing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the figure was lower than they would have expected it to be after the weekend and were looking to see if there are any other reasons that may be the cause of that.

NHS Greater Glasgow saw 220 cases, Lanarkshire 136 , Lothian 101 and Ayrshire 48 with the remaining cases across Scotland.

NHS Grampian saw 33 cases while NHS Highland saw a further 11 cases.

In the seven days to November 13 there were 139 cases in Aberdeenshire (53.2 per 100,000) and 127 in Aberdeen City (55.5 per 100,000).

A total of six deaths were also recorded in Scotland with Covid-19 as a contributing factor in the last 24 hours.

The First Minister said at the briefing that the Scottish Government's final decision on levels of restrictions in areas will be taken by the cabinet tomorrow morning and will be set out to parliament in the afternoon.

She said: "One of the issues we are looking at very closely is whether current restrictions are reducing Covid rates quickly enough in some areas."

She added that the "stubbornly high" levels in some parts of Scotland means that the Scottish Government do not have enough assurance that hospital and intensive care services are able to cope as the country goes deeper into the winter.

It also means that Holyrood would have less flexibility to offer some limited, careful easing of restrictions over the Christmas period.

When asked if a region like Aberdeenshire would be moved to level three, could it be separated into different areas the First Minister said: "One of things that is essential in making that targeted, varied geographical approach possible are travel restrictions.

"It just becomes a bit more practically difficult to have one level at one part of a local authority and another at another part.

"It may be less impractical in some of our more rural and remote areas than it would be in Glasgow or Edinburgh for example but it still brings practical difficulties.

"What we will always do, so if you have an outbreak as we did in Tayside a few months ago in the food processing factory, the Two Sisters outbreak, you put particular measures around it to try to control it, so you may well have different approaches that are driven by outbreaks in different parts of a local authority area.

"I think we have to be cautious about sub-dividing local authority areas too much."

The First Minister also confirmed funding to help to provide every care home in Scotland with one or two iPads. This will enable residents to stay connected with family and friends while visiting remains restricted. It will also help with remote medical consultations where necessary.

Plans are also being finalised to ensure routine visits from designated visitors can take place as safely as possible. These plans will include regular testing of care home visitors.

The First Minister outlined that plans for regional testing centres for Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are progressing and all three are on track to open at the end of this year.

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