Nicola Sturgeon covid update RECAP: First Minister announces highest new cases since February | Portugal added to amber list | Glasgow to move to Level 2 | Humza Yousaf apologises for soft play comments | Scotland Euro 2020 fanzone safety
Scroll down to see the latest news on the pandemic on Friday, June 4.
Covid Scotland: The latest updates on Friday, June 4
- Number of Covid cases continuing to rise, warns FM
- Scotland’s shopping footfall ‘still languishing
- Anger over decision to remove Portugal from 'green list’
Ms Sturgeon said the situation is giving cause for concern but that vaccines are providing hope.
However, she said a “significant proportion” of the population has not yet received both their jabs and it is important to exercise continued care.
The First Minister said: “There is an upside that we didn’t have at the start of the first wave or even at the start of the second wave, and that is of course the vaccines.
“We do need to analyse the data on an ongoing basis so it’s too early to be definitive but the strong indications we have so far are that vaccines are weakening the link between rising cases and cases of hospitalisations, intensive care and people dying.
“That is really encouraging and it is that that is giving us hope we can move beyond the very restrictive approach to dealing with Covid that has been necessary over the past year, or in fact more than a year now.
“Although that link appears to be weakening, it hasn’t yet been completely broken.”
Ms Sturgeon said the Indian variant, also known as Delta, is driving this.
She said: “Underlying this, and indeed driving all of this, is the new Delta variant which now makes up the majority of all new cases in Scotland.
“This variant is thought to be quite significantly more transmissible than even the Kent variant that we were dealing with at the turn of the year and there is, as you may have seen reported last night and this morning, early data suggesting that, all else being equal, it may increase the risk of hospitalisation.
“Now, hopefully, vaccines are reducing overall the risk of hospitalisation but even if it is a lower risk the early data suggests that this new Delta variant has a higher risk than the variants that went before it.
“But it’s important to say that that is something that is still under investigation and what has been reported in the last 24 hours is early data.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the situation is fragile.
She said: “We are at a very critical juncture right now in what we still very much hope and believe is a transition to a less restrictive way of dealing with Covid, but the position we are in now on that transition is a fragile one.
“On the downside, as we can see, cases are rising again, they have more than tripled over the last month and today the more than 900 cases that have been reported is the highest number of new cases since the 17th of February.
“The R number is now estimated to be above 1, indeed many experts believe that not just Scotland but the UK is now at the start of a third wave of Covid.”
Nicola Sturgeon: "There are still some parts of mainland Scotland where case numbers are very low - or where rising case numbers are associated with defined clusters that are being managed - although today we have at least one case in every health board area."
Nicola Sturgeon acknowledges "frustration" over cautious levels move
NS: "We need to analyse the data on an ongoing basis - so it is too early to be definitive - but the strong indications so far are that vaccines are weakening the link between rising cases and hospitalisations, intensive care, and people dying."
NS: "That said, there is an upside now too, which we didn’t have at the start of the first or second waves - and that is, of course, the vaccines."
Nicola Sturgeon: "On the downside, cases are rising again - they have more than tripled over the last month. Today we are reporting the highest number of new cases since the 17th of February."
Scotland has recorded two deaths of coronavirus patients and 992 new cases in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 7,676.
The First Minister told a Scottish Government coronavirus briefing the daily test positivity rate is 3.9%, up from 2.8% the previous day.
A total of 116 people were in hospital on Thursday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up six from the day before, with eight patients in intensive care, no change.
So far, 3,326,005 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 2,170,570 have received their second dose.