THE First Minister has defended Scotland’s contact tracing system after concerns were raised over its staffing levels in Aberdeen.

There are now 79 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the cluster linked to more than 20 bars and restaurants in the city, an increase of 25 on yesterday.

Test and Protect, the contact tracing system, had identified 233 close contacts of people with confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The Scottish Government has also published a list of licensed premises where people with coronavirus visited in recent days on its website.

READ MORE: Aberdeen outbreak: 79 Covid-19 cases confirmed in cluster

Nicola Sturgeon explained earlier at today’s briefing that not everyone who visited the premises will be contacted by tracers as they may not have been there at a relevant time, or they may not have been within two metres of the person for a significant period.

However, she did ask people who had been at the premises to stay vigilant and aware of symptoms. Sturgeon told anyone experiencing symptoms they must be tested and self-isolate for the required 10-day period.

One journalist put to Sturgeon that they were aware there were just eight contact tracers working in the NHS Grampian area out of 600 employed across Scotland. She asked if additional resources would be put to the health board to help their efforts.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon confirms 67 new cases of coronavirus in Scotland

The First Minister responded to say she did not know the exact number of contact tracers working on the Aberdeen outbreak, but was in close dialogue with the health board and will provide whatever advice and additional resources they need.

She went on: “This work is of absolute paramount importance and therefore they will have the support that they need. What I do know from the information I have is that they are doing a very good and very effective job in terms of the contacts that are being identified and traced.

"From the figures I gave you earlier on it’s more than 200 now and that will continue to increase as the number of positive cases unfortunately is continuing to increase.

“But we will have an ongoing dialogue, in this case with NHS Grampian, but with any health board or local authority that might be facing similar outbreaks in the future.”

Her comments came as another 67 people tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland over the last 24 hours.

Based on provisional information, Sturgeon said it was believed 39 of them were located in the NHS Grampian area. A further 17 are in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

The total number of deaths among those who have received a positive test within the last 28 days remains 2491.