A TOTAL of six Scots who were suffering from coronavirus have died, the First Minister has announced.

Nicola Sturgeon revealed the doubling in the number of deaths and sent her condolences to those who have lost loved ones as she spoke to MSPs at FMQs.

The SNP leader said she was "extremely sad to confirm that as of nine o'clock this morning there have now been six reported deaths of patients in Scotland who had tested positive for Covid-19, that is an increase of three from yesterday".

She added: "I want to put on record my thoughts to their loved ones at this incredibly painful time for them."

Meanwhile, the FM confirmed the number of Scots who had tested positive for Covid-19 had increased to 266 – a rise of 39 from Wednesday's total.

But Sturgeon warned: "I would stress, as I have done previously, that that is likely to be an underestimate of the true prevalence of the infection across our society."

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Describing the outbreak as being "incredibly difficult and challenging" to deal with, the FM called for a "national endeavour" to get through the weeks and months ahead.

Sturgeon pledged her Government would be "as open and transparent" with the public as possible.

She said: "I don't want to scare people because, in my experience, if you scare people it's not very productive.

"But I do want people to understand this is not a drill. This is real. This is happening. We all have to take seriously our responsibility to follow the advice."

She added: "I have never been as acutely aware as I am right now of the inability of Government alone to deal with this challenge.

"I, as First Minister, will do my best to lead this operation in the months ahead but I need the help of everybody across Scotland.

"So what I can do is share as much information as possible but sometimes that will involve being frank where I don't know the answer to something immediately or have to be honest that certain things take some time to be put in place.

"This has to be a collective national endeavour. It will not be easy but if we do that, all of us pulling together -

Government, the public, all parts of the economy and the public sector - then I do have confidence, not withstanding how incredibly difficult and challenging this situation is, that the country will be able to get through it."