Scotland’s fight against coronavirus has shown progress, with current case levels better than even best case predictions.
The country has recorded a dramatic fall in the number of people with coronavirus requiring treatment in hospital, with current levels almost a month ahead of previous best case forecasts.
As of February 28, some 837 people with Covid were being treated by medics in Scottish NHS hospitals, this figure fell further by 17 today (March 1).
This is down from 2,010 hospital cases on January 24, when figures started to fall after a sudden peak in admissions when the second lockdown was introduced by Nicola Sturgeon.
Data modellers had not predicted a fall to around 800 hospital admissions until the end of March, meaning Scotland is around one month ahead of even the best case predictions.
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But asked about the figures at the daily Covid briefing today, health secretary Freeman said while the figures were encouraging it was important to look at the wider context.
“I think the key word here is sustained progress,” Freeman said.
She added: “The number we have seen most recently are signs that are encouraging, they do give us reasons to be optimistic.
“There is no single piece of data that is the trigger to do one thing or the other,” Freeman said when asked if it could mean the exit from lockdown is accelerated.
But the health secretary said if she government was able to move more quickly than current plans suggest then they would do this.
Chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith compared the models to weather forecasts, pointing out that while they provide useful indications they have to be read in the context of real world data.
It came as Scotland recorded 386 positive coronavirus tests in the past 24 hours, according to the latest Covid stats.
Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, Freeman said 202,470 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 202,084 the previous day.
The daily test positivity rate is 4.5%, up from 3.8% the previous day.
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Of the new cases, 123 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 70 in NHS Lothian and 51 in Lanarkshire.
No new deaths have been recorded, meaning the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7,131.
There are 824 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 13 in 24 hours, and 71 patients are in intensive care, down seven.
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