Coronavirus claims 16 more lives in Scotland

First Minister Nicola Surgeon updates the Scottish parliament today

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The number of people in Scotland who have died from COVID-19 has risen to 76, the First Minister has announced.

The coronavirus death toll rose by 16 on yesterday with confirmed cases now up to 2,310 from 1,993 yesterday.

A total of 147 people are in intensive care as the virus accelerates, she said, although numbers are regarded as underestimate.

In addition, she confirmed today that the popular Edinburgh Fringe Festival would not take place this summer, bringing to an end rumours it may happen on a much smaller scale.

Addressing questions about the availability of ventilators in Scotland, Mrs Sturgeon said the Scottish Government ‘had a number’ on order with overseas manufacturers.

‘Those orders will be delivered, if they stay on track, over the period of the next number of weeks and by the summer,’ she said.

‘It will take us to roundabout more than a thousand ventilators. I would stress these are orders with existing manufacturers of ventilators and is not dependent on companies re-purposing what they do.

She said Scotland would also get ventilators as part of UK efforts and that minister for trade, Ivan McKee, had been leading work on whether companies can re-purpose ventilators too.

Mrs Sturgeon said: ‘If we look at our modelling and the kind of numbers that suggests we will be facing in terms of intensive care requirements over the next two to three weeks, the work we have done to re-purpose these theatre anaesthetic machines and the ventilators we currently have in stock and operational in our hospitals, give us much greater confidence that we will be able to meet peak demand.

‘But it is nevertheless important that we continue to see the orders for the longer, medium term continuing to be delivered.’