Scotland death toll rises further as Edinburgh festival is postponed

Scotland death toll rises further as Edinburgh festival is postponed

The number of people in Scotland who have died after being diagnosed with Covid-19 is 76, a rise of 16 on Tuesday with the Edinburgh festivals cancelled.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, she said 2,300 people had tested positive for the virus, up 317 on the previous day.

Ms Sturgeon said the number of people in intensive care was 147 as of Wednesday, an increase of almost 100 since the same time last week.

The increase in intensive care will be felt in the coming weeks, according to the First Minister.

The number of intensive care beds has been doubled and the Scottish Government aims to ensure it will be quadrupled, Ms Sturgeon said, with operating theatres in NHS hospitals being re-purposed.

The First Minister told MSPs that 1,153 patients are currently in Scottish hospitals suffering from Covid-19.

The Scottish Government is "working at pace" to boost its ability to test suspected cases, Ms Sturgeon announced, with the number of tests being done each day sitting at 1,900 - a rise from 750 a few weeks ago.

It is hoped that testing can increase further to 3,500 in the future.

Scotland's First Minister described the decision to cancel the Edinburgh festivals this summer as "heartbreaking, but the right decision".

Nicola Sturgeon also added that the Scottish Government was looking at redistributing support given to the festivals to ensure artists and freelancers are paid, pledging help from the Government to make sure the festivals return "even stronger".

Ms Sturgeon also praised employers who made the decision to close to protect the health and safety of their workforce during the outbreak.

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The First Minister said around 30,000 applications had been made to local authorities from businesses in need of help from the Business Support Fund set up to help small firms and hospitality and retail companies.

She also announced plans to transfer £950 million of funding to local authorities, so money can begin to be handed out from Monday.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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