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Jeane Freeman LIVE: Scottish Government coronavirus briefing led by Health Secretary

Live updates on Covid-19 in Scotland, the UK, and around the world.

The latest updates on Covid-19 in Scotland.
The latest updates on Covid-19 in Scotland.

Follow along here to stay up-to-date with the latest developments on Friday, January 29.

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Last updated: Friday, 29 January, 2021, 12:47

  • 70 further coronavirus deaths on Friday
  • 1,155 more cases recorded in Scotland
  • North Sea platform shut down after outbreak
  • Scotland bans passenger flights from UAE
  • Scotland’s R number has dropped below 1

Almost half of Scots took advantage of Christmas relaxation rules as trust drops in Scottish Government

It’s “not credible” for the UK Government to provide details of vaccines to the media, but not expect the Scottish Government to release data, Scotland’s Health Secretary said.

Speaking at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Jeane Freeman said: “The bottom line here is that the UK Government has repeatedly briefed key statistics on how much vaccine has been allocated and delivered to Scotland.

“So it’s not credible for them one day to tell journalists… what these figures are and another day tell us that putting out these figures is a matter of national security.

“That circle really doesn’t square.

“We’ve held off publication in the past at their request but that’s no longer tenable. So the public have a right to clarity and we will give them that.

“We’re not talking about future supplies, we’re talking about known supplies – and I think that’s exactly the right thing for us to do.”

UK travellers rush home from UAE before 1pm flight ban

Thousands of British travellers rushed to return home from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday before a flight ban came into force.

Social media influencers and models are among those affected by the decision to ban direct flights from the UAE from 1pm.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the policy at 5pm on Thursday, giving travellers just 20 hours to make arrangements.

The measure is aimed at stopping the spread of the South African coronavirus variant.

Three flights from Dubai and two from Abu Dhabi were due to land at Heathrow before the 1pm curfew on Friday.

One flight arrived at Manchester Airport from Abu Dhabi, and one landed in Glasgow from Dubai.

Around 96% of care home residents have received the first dose of the vaccine in Scotland, the Health Secretary has said.

Standing in for the First Minister at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, Jeane Freeman also said 68% of people over the age of 80 had received their first dose.

Ms Freeman said the Scottish Government was “well on track” to hit its vaccination target of all over-80s by “early next week”.

Two more mass vaccination centres will also open in Scotland from Monday, Ms Freeman said, in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

The Scottish Government is “urgently examining” a rise in cases in the Western Isles, with a shift to Level 4 possible.

According to Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, six new cases were reported on Friday and nine on Thursday.

Paired with a separate outbreak on Barra that pushed the island into Level 4 in recent weeks, the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway has now reached capacity.

A decision on the Western Isles’ future will be made on Friday, but the Health Secretary urged people in the area to take extra caution now.

“I would urge people to please not wait. Please stay at home whenever possible and help your local National Health Service through this,” she said.

70 further coronavirus deaths in Scotland

Scotland has recorded 70 deaths from coronavirus and 1,155 positive tests in the past 24 hours, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said.

It brings the death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – to 6,040.

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, Ms Freeman said 177,688 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 176,533 the previous day.

The daily test positivity rate is 5.8%, up from 5.6% in the previous 24 hours.

Of the new cases, 337 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 207 in Lanarkshire, and 147 in Lothian.

There are 1,958 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down 25 in 24 hours, and 144 patients are in intensive care, up two.

Ms Freeman added that 515,855 people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

More than 515,000 people have received first dose of vaccine

Jeane Freeman LIVE: 1,155 new Covid cases reported in Scotland in past 24 hours – and 70 additional deaths

North Sea platform shut down after coronavirus outbreak

A North Sea oil platform has shut down after a Covid-19 outbreak.

Total has confirmed 11 staff on the Gryphon floating production and storage vessel have tested positive for the virus.

The company said the platform has been reduced to essential personnel only and a deep clean is being carried out.

It comes after another North Sea facility was closed down last week due to an outbreak.

Ethnic minorities and younger adults ‘less likely to say they will get vaccine’

Ethnic minorities, younger adults and women are less likely to say they will get a coronavirus vaccine, according to figures.

Overall, 88% of adults said they would be very or fairly likely to have the vaccine if offered, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Some 4% were very or fairly unlikely and less than 1% said they had declined the offer of a vaccine.

So far, 7.4 million people have had at least one vaccine dose across the UK.

The ONS analysed data from December 10 to January 10 to examine attitudes towards vaccination of more than 14,000 people in Britain and how this may vary by sex, age, disability, ethnicity, health and region.

The survey did not include adults living in care homes or other establishments, so does not address vaccinations in these settings.

Bus workers concerned coronavirus safety measures are not enough

A campaign for transport workers to be given priority for the coronavirus vaccine is being stepped up after research revealed concerns about safety on buses.

A survey of 900 bus workers found that four out of five believed enforcement of face coverings on bus services was inadequate.

Almost as many said there was no proper enforcement of social distancing on buses.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said its survey suggested that fewer than one in 10 bus workers believed enforcement of social distancing and face coverings was taken as seriously on the bus network as it is on the railways.

Only one in four of those polled said they know who is responsible for enforcing Covid-19 safety measures on buses.

Other issues revealed in the study included a lack of washing facilities and measures to minimise cash handling.

Sir Tom Jones feels ‘bulletproof’ after second Covid-19 jab

Sir Tom Jones has said he feels “bulletproof” after receiving both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

The singer, 80, first revealed he’d had a jab on Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny broadcast on New Year’s Eve.

Now the Sex Bomb singer has said, having had his second dose, that it is a “great feeling”.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, he said: “I’ve had the two and I’m now bulletproof! It’s a great feeling.

“I thought, ‘I’ll be able to go out and do some live shows now’, but then I thought, ‘you’ve got to have an audience for that!’ If they haven’t had the jab, what’s the point?”

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman will hold a coronavirus briefing at 12.15pm with chief nursing officer Fiona McQueen.

Charlotte Church: It’s insulting to just say ‘retrain’ in the pandemic

Charlotte Church says she is “disappointed” that the Government has not done more for the arts in the pandemic.

The Government has launched a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to save cultural institutions on the brink of collapse.

But Welsh singer Church, 34, said more help is needed.

She told Good Morning Britain that the arts are important “not just from an economic standpoint (as)… the fastest growing industry in the whole of the UK… but vastly important for our wellbeing and for our entire culture”.

“So I’m really disappointed with the way the Government has treated the arts, especially the retrain scheme which I just found quite insulting… the idea if you’re an artist of any type, just retrain,” she told the ITV show.

An ad campaign had suggested a ballet dancer could “reboot” their career by moving in to cyber security.

Kate Bingham: UK got ahead in vaccination supply by starting production early

Kate Bingham, former chairwoman of the Vaccine Taskforce, said the UK had got ahead in its vaccination supply by starting production early.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m not going to get into the details of the contacts but one of the things the CEO of AZ (AstraZeneca) did not mention is that we actually started scaling up manufacture of the Oxford vaccine from February.

“So, yes, we signed the contract, or agreed terms with AZ, in May, but actually the work to scale up the manufacturing started months before that, and it is that early work that was done by the industry – voluntarily, not based on contracts or requirements but a voluntary coalition of the different companies.

“That is what has ultimately made the difference as to why we are so far ahead on manufacturing.”

Asked about AstraZeneca’s dispute with the European Union, Ms Bingham said: “We are interdependent and I don’t think that the idea that there are going to be trade barriers is something that we should be considering.”

The Scotsman

The Scotsman is a Scottish compact newspaper and daily news website headquartered in Edinburgh. First established as a radical political paper in 1817, it began daily publication in 1855 and remained a broadsheet until August 2004. Its parent company, JPIMedia, also publishes the Edinburgh Evening News.

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