Nicola Sturgeon yesterday stated Scotland is not yet past the Covid-19 “danger point of this virus running out of control”.
The Courier revealed on Thursday the Scottish Government feared Boris Johnson’s ebullient statements about being “past the peak” of the disease could “jeopardise” the lockdown’s effectiveness.
The first minister told the daily briefing she remains wary of sending the wrong message to a public desperate for positive news.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I’ve been asked today if I believe that we’re past the peak of this virus and I’ve hesitated to use that language.
“The reason I’ve hesitated to use it is I think it perhaps sends the message that we’re past the danger point and we’re not past the danger point of this virus running out of control yet.”
She added: “That light at the end of the tunnel is there but we’ll only keep it there if we keep doing the things that we’re asking people to do.”
Earlier in the briefing, the first minister declined to criticise the prime minister, who has been accused of being too optimistic in his view of the virus.
She said: “What I’m choosing to say to people, and it’s not trying to extinguish the positive, I’m desperate for the positive news as much as everybody is, but it’s about how we protect that positive news and build on it and if we want to do that then we’ve got to keep doing the right thing.”
Ms Sturgeon later Tweeted: “There is progress, and light at end of tunnel. My concern about “past the peak” is that it could imply we’re past the point of danger.
“We’re not – progress is fragile and if we ease up it will be reversed.
“So we need to encourage maximum compliance with current restrictions.”
The first minister also revealed the death toll of people in Scotland who have tested positive for Covid-19 is now 1,515, up 40 from 1,475 on Thursday.
Ms Sturgeon also announced 11,654 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, a rise of 301 from 11,353 on Thursday.
There are 1,809 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, up 61 from 1,748 the previous day.
Of these patients, 110 are in intensive care, a rise of four.
Mr Johnson announced on Thursday the UK is “past the peak” of the virus and “on the downward slope”.
He said: “We’ve come under what could have been a vast peak…as though we’ve been going through some huge alpine tunnel and we can now see the sunlight and pasture ahead of us.”
He said it meant the UK could begin to consider a “road map” out of lockdown, details of which could be revealed next week.
His comments came hours after Ms Sturgeon had revealed her fears about an increase in traffic on the roads and concern people are breaching lockdown rules.
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