NICOLA Sturgeon has warned people in Scotland there is "almost certainly worse to come" in the coronavirus pandemic as she revealed more people had died as a result of the disease.

Speaking at her daily press conference the First Minister revealed Covid-19 had claimed the lives of 222 people who had tested positive for the infection - a rise of two from Sunday.

She also stressed this would not be a "true figure" and would be "artificially low" as officials change the way deaths are reported.

Work is currently being done to make the National Registers of Scotland (NRS) death reporting service one that works seven days a week, so the First Minister said more deaths were expected to be confirmed in the coming days.

She said the figures would be "reconciled" on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, along with an NRS report on Covid-19 deaths in the community.

Speaking at a briefing at the Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh, the First Minister acknowledged it had been a "difficult 24 hours for the Government" after the resignation of former chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood over two trips she made to her second home in Fife - flouting rules aimed at tackling Covid-19.

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She said the issues facing the Scottish Government over the weekend were nothing compared to the hardship faced by those who had contracted coronavirus and those treating them.

In total, 3,961 people have tested positive across the country and the number of patients being treated in hospital for Covid-19 is 1,599 including 199 in intensive care.

The First Minister also warned that the peak of the virus was still in the future, admitting that "there is almost certainly worse to come before we turn the corner of this virus".

Speaking for the first time in his new role following the resignation of the former Chief Medical Officer on Sunday night, the interim CMO Dr Gregor Smith looked to reassure people that the NHS is still caring for people, both with and without coronavirus.

He said: "If you have symptoms you're concerned about, I don't want you to sit at home worrying about them.

"Your NHS will remain here at all times."

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The First Minister also wished Prime Minister Boris Johnson well after he was admitted to hospital on Sunday night with coronavirus symptoms.

During the press conference Sturgeon defended her attempt to keep the CMO in post despite her admission over twice breaking lockdown rules over visits to her second home in Fife.

The First Minister said she acted in “good faith” when she decided that “continuity of advice” from Dr Catherine Calderwood was paramount during the coronavirus crisis.

However she admitted the actions of Calderwood, the public face of the Scottish Government’s stay-at-home campaign, had ultimately sent a “terrible message” and she had to go.

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The First Minister said it was up to others to judge whether she had made a mistake in standing by her CMO for most of Sunday.

She said people were "entitled to think" she had made an error of judgment in not removing Calderwood immediately, instead of waiting 24 hours. She added that Calderwood's departure was arrived at “by mutual agreement”.

The First Minister said she shared the public’s “anger” over Calderwood’s actions.

She said it was “far from ideal” to lose a chief medical officer (CMO) during a pandemic, and that she “was “very sorry” the situation had arisen.

She said: “She made a big mistake in how she acted. I understand people’s anger.

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"She made a serious error of judgment and she has paid the price for that."

Interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today about her own judgment over the matter, Sturgeon said: “She made a big mistake in how she acted. I understand people’s anger.

“She was right to apologise. She could not continue to be the face of the public advice campaign

“But to be candid, I did hope that I could continue to call on her advice and expertise, because at this point in dealing with a pandemic, continuity of advice from somebody who’s been immersed in this from the very outset was important.

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