Sturgeon Warns Controls to Continue as Scottish Deaths Near 500

(Bloomberg) --

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that the country may be facing restrictions on movement for weeks to come as the number of those who died in Scotland due to the coronavirus have increased to almost 500.

“The advice remains unchanged. Scotland will remain in lockdown through the Easter weekend and into next week,” Sturgeon said at a briefing in Edinburgh on Friday, following a meeting with other U.K. leaders. “The message remains exactly the same, people need to stay at home.”

The warning comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Scotland rose by 318 to 5,275 and the number of laboratory-confirmed fatalities climbed by 48 to 495.

While it’s still unclear when the number of new cases will peak, Sturgeon said yesterday that it’s “appropriate to start thinking about an exit strategy.”

Research published by the University of Warwick earlier this week suggested that the coronavirus epidemic in the U.K. could peak this week and that Scotland and Northern Ireland are “on a faster track to the end of the epidemic and will see a swift drop in cases after the peak is reached.”

“At the moment, we simply don’t have enough evidence on the impact of the lockdown to have confidence about when we could start to come out of it,” Sturgeon said on Friday. “As that evidence becomes available, we will be able to review the situation.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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