Four weeks ago, the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Scotland – here is a look back at how the coronavirus crisis has escalated north of the border since.
The Scottish Government announced the first Covid-19 case in Scotland on Sunday March 1.
The patient, a Tayside resident recently returned from Italy, was treated in isolation at hospital.
News had first emerged of patients being tested for the virus in Scotland more than a month previously, on January 23, with negative test results being reported the following day.
By January 30 Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood warned a positive case of coronavirus was “highly likely” in the coming days. However, it was just over a month before the first positive test result.
Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said there was “no need to panic” over the outbreak.
Just under a week later, Dr Calderwood said large gatherings could be banned in Scotland, citing action being taken in Italy.
A day after the first positive case was confirmed Dr Calderwood said Scotland would continue with “business as usual” even in the event of the virus spreading across the country while in the first of what would become daily briefings, Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government expected a “significant outbreak of coronavirus”.
On March 8, a week after the first case, there were 18 confirmed cases but the following day the First Minister stressed there were no plans to close schools.
Two days later the first case of community transmission was confirmed north of the border and the following day Ms Sturgeon announced mass gatherings would be cancelled.
The next day, March 13, the first death of a Covid-19 patient in Scotland was announced, as confirmed cases hit 85.
Dr Calderwood said the patient, treated by NHS Lothian, was an older person with pre-existing medical conditions.
By March 15, two weeks after the first confirmed case, some schools began to close and the Scottish Government announced those with symptoms would no longer be routinely tested for the virus and should not seek medical help unless their condition deteriorated.
The second death came two days later, with a third the following day as it was announced all schools would close by the end of the week.
By March 22, three weeks after the first confirmed case, 10 people had died and there were 416 confirmed cases.
All restaurants, cafes, pubs and cinemas had been asked to close and people were told to practise social distancing, with stricter measures for the more vulnerable.
The following day, the three-week lockdown was announced, with Ms Sturgeon saying the virus is “the biggest challenge of our lifetime”.
Four days later UK-wide emergency laws came into force in Scotland enabling fines for people flouting the rules to tackle the outbreak, including gathering in groups of more than two unless living in the same house.
Addressing the rapidly evolving situation as the fourth week since the first Scottish case approached and deaths hit 33, the First Minister posted online: “As we head into the weekend, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone across Scotland doing the right thing – I don’t underestimate how tough this is, but it will save lives and get us through and hopefully back to normal more quickly.”
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