THERE have been no new coronavirus deaths recorded in Scotland over the last 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily briefing Nicola Sturgeon announced there had been 18 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in the last 24 hours – the highest daily rise in three weeks.

The First Minister said there are 688 patients now in hospital with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus in Scotland. That is an increase of 22 on yesterday, she said, but “that includes a reduction of five in the number of confirmed cases”.

Sturgeon added that there were 12 people in intensive care with confirmed or suspected coronavirus last night – it marks an increase of three on yesterday. One was confirmed and the other two are suspected.

The First Minister went on: “Since 5 March, a total of 4115 patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have been able to leave hospital. I wish all of them well.

“And I'm very pleased to report that during the last 24 hours, zero deaths were registered of a patient confirmed through a test as having Covid-19.  The total number of deaths therefore remains 2490.

"Once again, I want to pass on my condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one as a result of this virus. And I also want to thank our health and care workers for the incredible work that you have done – and continue to do."

The First Minister stressed that today’s figures are a reminder that the virus has not gone away and reminded Scots to continue to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines to prevent further spread of coronavirus.