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Nicola Sturgeon ‘truly sorry’ as UK coronavirus death toll passes 100,000

PA Scotland Reporters
·3 min read

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “truly sorry” for any mistakes that have been made after the UK’s coronavirus death toll passed 100,000.

Scotland’s First Minister confirmed 5,888 people have died in the country within 28 days of a positive test, while there have been 7,902 deaths from confirmed or suspected Covid-19.

She said Scotland has recorded 92 deaths of coronavirus patients and 1,330 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.

At the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon led a moment of silence “in memory of all those who have died in this pandemic so far”.

She said the death toll should make all political leaders “think very hard about what more we could have done and what lessons we must continue to learn”.

She added: “I know that I, and everyone in my Government, have tried every day to do everything we possibly can.

“But I don’t think any of us, reflecting on numbers like these, can conclude that we have always succeeded.

“And for any mistakes we have made, firstly I take responsibility for that, and I am – and I always will be – truly sorry for any mistakes we have made or for any reflections that we could have done things differently.”

In a message to people who are grieving the deaths of friends and family from coronavirus, the First Minister added: “I know that this won’t be any consolation to you at all, but nevertheless I do want you to know that your loss weighs heavily on me and it always will.”

Deaths involving Covid-19 in Scotland
(PA Graphics)

Ms Sturgeon said 2,016 people are now in hospital confirmed to have Covid-19, up six in 24 hours.

Of these patients, 145 are in intensive care – a fall of four in the same period.

She highlighted travel restrictions as an area where the Scottish and UK governments “perhaps should have done more at an early stage” of the pandemic, as she raised concerns that plans to now tighten the rules in this area do “not go far enough”.

She called for a “comprehensive system of supervised quarantine” for travellers arriving in Britain, and said the UK Government’s plan is the “least that can be done” and leaves “far too many weak points and gaps”.

The UK Government is expected to announce further restrictions for those arriving from high-risk countries, but speaking after a four-nations call, Ms Sturgeon said she is concerned about the proposed measures.

She said: “I think I do have a duty at this point to say that I am concerned that the proposal does not go far enough and I’ve made that point very strongly in the four-nations discussions that we’ve just had today.

“So while the Scottish Government will initially emulate the UK Government’s steps on enhancing quarantine arrangements, we will be seeking urgently to persuade them to go much further, and indeed to move to a comprehensive system of supervised quarantine.

“Given the obvious practical issues involved, we are very clear that our preference is to have consistent quarantine rules across the UK, but if there is no agreement to go further on a four-nations basis, we will be considering going further ourselves and we will set out any such additional measures next week.”