THE number of coronavirus patients to die in Scotland has risen to 126.

That is an increase of 50 on yesterday's figures, but the First Minister said 40 of the deaths did not take place in the last 24 hours and were due to a delay in figures being reported.

The number of cases has also risen to 2602, as of 2pm today.

A total of 18,128 tests have taken place, with 15,526 coming back negative.

At a briefing at St Andrew's House in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon said that 162 people were in intensive care with Covid-19.

The First Minister described coronavirus as a "cruel virus" as people are not allowed to spend time with loved ones in hospital.

She said that 40 deaths had not been reported due to "family liaison" issues, but it would not be correct to say they had happened in the past 24 hours.

A new reporting system would be put in place, meaning the daily figure of confirmed deaths will not rely solely on health boards, but will also include data from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) death registration process.

As of next week, NRS will also begin to report on deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.

The First Minister said the Scottish Government was trying to be as "transparent as possible".

Current tests, she said, can identify cases of Covid-19 but will be unable to detect the virus in the incubation period or if someone has previously had it.

The Scottish and UK Governments are working on a more thorough antibody test, Sturgeon said.

Meanwhile, figures from the UK Department of Health show the number of coronavirus patients in the UK to die has risen by 569 to 2921.

The number of confirmed cases has risen by 4244 to 33,718.

Also speaking at the Scottish briefing, chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood said compliance with lockdown measures could mean they are lifted in three months.

She said: "What we do know from the scientific evidence is that if people are stringently obeying these new rules, these very difficult rules ... we are then able to slow the spread of this transmission.

"The more we comply, the better that those measures are going to reduce the transmission of the virus and that length of time, at least 13 weeks, we would be able to lift some of those measures potentially after that three month period."

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