CORONAVIRUS in Scotland was spread by Nike employees the week before the country's first case was confirmed.

The first Scottish case of the virus was confirmed in Tayside on March 1, with mass gatherings not banned until March 16 and lockdown measures introduced on March 23.

However the findings of a BBC Scotland Disclosure investigation also suggest the virus was brought to Scotland a few days before that first confirmed case.

More than 70 Nike employees from around the world attended a conference at Edinburgh’s Hilton Carlton Hotel on February 26 and 27.

One of the delegates from abroad brought the virus and infected many other employees who then returned to their own countries.

The investigation found at least 25 people linked to this one event are confirmed to have been infected, with eight living in Scotland.

The BBC has come under fire for the story which had the headline "Earlier Scottish lockdown 'could have prevented 2,000 deaths'".

It was based on an Edinburgh University study led by Professor Rowland Kao which developed a model which simulated the epidemiological behaviour of the Scottish population.

The study was based on figures published by the National Records of Scotland last week that a total of 2,795 people have died with a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19.

Even allowing for some uncertainty the model predicted the death toll would have been around 577 – 80% lower than the total.

James Cook, the chief news correspondent for The Nine, tweeted the story and faced backlash from Scots, with many accusing the BBC of hypocrisy.