NICOLA Sturgeon yesterday pledged “all possible steps” are being taken to deal with the coronavirus pandemic as the crisis continues.

The First Minister said measures – including closing schools – were being kept under daily review and guided by “expert advice”.

Her message came as the number of confirmed cases in Scotland rose to 121, with the first death north of the border recorded on Friday. The UK death toll doubled to 21 yesterday in the space of 24 hours, after 10 patients more died in England, and total confirmed UK cases now stand at 1140.

Donald Trump announced a US coronavirus travel ban will be extended to the UK and Ireland from midnight on Monday eastern standard time (4pm). Travel had already been suspended for 30 days from 26 Schengen countries – 22 European Union members and four non-EU.

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Some Jet2 flights, including one from Glasgow, were turned back mid-air yesterday as the airline cancelled all flights to Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands because of the virus outbreak.

Writing on Twitter, Sturgeon said it was an anxious time and she wanted to offer assurance the Scottish Government “is and will continue to take all possible steps”. She urged people with mild symptoms – such as a fever or persistent cough – to stay at home and only call NHS 24 if symptoms worsened.

The NHS 24 helpline reported it was taking thousands of extra calls yesterday, with more than 13,000 by the early evening.

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Sturgeon also reiterated guidance advising cancellation of events of 500 or more people from Monday and messages around reducing spread of the virus through handwashing.

“Other steps – including closing schools – will be kept under daily review and taken if and when it is judged they will delay spread and protect the most vulnerable,” she added.

“We are being guided by expert advice. Our priority is to protect the public and save lives.

“Lastly, all of us have a big part to play – by following advice, acting responsibly and looking out for each other. As FM, I’ll be focused 100% on making sure we do all we can – and at the right time.”

Emergency legislation is expected to be brought forward by the UK Government this week. Yesterday it was reported laws could be in place for two years and include powers for police and immigration officers to detain people for a “limited period” if they are infected, as well as powers to halt any “vehicle, train, vessel or aircraft” and close ports.

The Government could have powers to direct schools and nurseries to stay open or to close them, and local authorities may be able to offer reduced levels of care to people in their homes or care homes as long as it does not lead to “serious neglect or harm”.

Scottish ministers are expecting to seek the approval of MSPs for any aspects covering devolved matters.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Our preparations for a reasonable worst case scenario, aimed at ensuring key services, remain effectively resourced and necessary steps can be taken to protect people and the economy, including ongoing work with the UK Government on what additional legislative powers may be needed, for a limited time, to combat the impact and consequences of coronavirus.

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“We will of course continue to work collaboratively across all sectors and ministers will update the Scottish Parliament in the coming days.”

It was announced yesterday businesses in Scotland will receive a £320 million package to help deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.

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Finance Secretary Kate Forbes (above) announced the measure, which will include small firms in the worst-hit parts of the economy, such as retail, tourism and hospitality, receiving grants of at least £3000.

Forbes said: “We know that the tourism and hospitality sectors are facing immediate pressure, which is why we have directed support to them in particular. Businesses receiving support are being encouraged to operate with fair work principles, including supporting staff to self-isolate when they need to and if they have caring responsibilities, and to consider keeping staff in employment where at all possible.

“We continue to work closely with our partners to identify what further support is needed and I’d encourage any businesses with questions relating to the impact of Covid-19 to contact the helpline we launched this week.”

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Scottish Retail Consortium director David Lonsdale said: “These are the right decisions for the present, albeit both the UK and Scottish Government may have to take further steps as this very unpredictable and unprecedented situation evolves.”

The UK’s approach to developing “herd immunity” against Covid-19 has been called into question by the World Health Organisation.

Spokeswoman Margaret Harris told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “Every virus functions differently in your body and stimulates a different immunological profile. We can talk theories, but at the moment we are really facing a situation where we have got to look at action.”