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Live Reporting

BBC Scotland News

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's all from us for today.

    Join us tomorrow for more live updates on the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting Scotland.

    Stay safe.

  2. What we learned today

    • A further 74 people have died with coronavirus in Scotland, taking the total to 296
    • 4,229 people have now tested positive, up by 268 from yesterday
    • 1,751 patients are in hospital with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, including 199 in intensive care
    • PM Boris Johnson remains in intensive care, but he is breathing without help - according to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for him
  3. What is the risk to men over 50?

    Michelle Roberts

    Health editor, BBC News online

    Man in 50s coughing

    Boris Johnson, who is 55, is currently being cared for in St Thomas' hospital in London after his symptoms worsened.

    Coronavirus also appears to disproportionately affect men in their 50s and 60s to a certain degree, although they are not singled out as a high-risk group.

    Scientists are not sure why this might be.

    Data from China, where the pandemic began, suggests men are at greater risk than women, although experts caution there could be factors other than gender, such as smoking habits, that could explain the link.

    Prof Ian Hall, professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Nottingham, said: "I am not convinced this completely explains the increased risk of severe disease in men, so it seems possible there may be some other, as yet unidentified, factor playing a role."

    Read more.

  4. Economy output may be contracting by a quarter

    Douglas Fraser

    Scotland business & economy editor

    Output from the economy may be contracting by as much a quarter during the time the current lockdown continues, according to a leading authority on the Scottish economy.

    The Fraser of Allander Institute has run a rough calculation of how different sectors are being affected by the sudden stoppage of much activity, assuming it lasts for three months.

    It has used current evidence, then weighted them according to their proportion within the economy.

    It estimates that construction output could be falling by up to half. It represents around 6% of the economy.

    The dominant services sector, including retail and despite a boom in online shopping, is falling by up to 20%, under this modelling.

    Within that, it's well known that retail, along with the category of accommodation and food, are among the hardest hit sectors.

    With large parts of these mothballed, the forecast is for "a very significant contraction".

    Production, which includes manufacturing, is falling by up to 30%, according to the estimates while demand for energy is down while offices and factories go unused.

    The fall in output, estimated at between 20 and 25%, is described as "completely unprecedented", and the Strathclyde University economists note that the effect will not be felt uniformly across Scotland.

    For comparison, a recent forecast for the impact on the US economy was on the same scale. Bank of America calculated that there could be a 30% drop in output during the second quarter of 2020, followed by a 30% rebound in the fourth quarter.


  5. Coronavirus: Plea to avoid narrow canal towpaths

    Morag Kinniburgh

    BBC Scotland

    Union Canal

    An Edinburgh councillor is calling on people to avoid congested canal towpaths during the Covid 19 lockdown.

    Gavin Corbett is urging cyclists and runners in particular to use alternative routes, saying some sections are too narrow for the number of people using them.

    Scottish Canals acknowledged there were places where it was impossible to keep two metres apart but said it would be impossible to enforce any towpath closure given that there were so many access points.

    It is encouraging the public to be mindful of people coming towards them and to allow as much space as possible.

    Local Green councillor and city canal champion Mr Corbett said: “In normal times I’m always enthusing about why should people should visit it. But these are not normal times and in some parts the canal towpath is way too narrow for the number of people using it just now.”

  6. Loss of a "true gentleman" from bowls community

    Andy Wyness

    Bowls Scotland has announced that a member of the bowls community has died after contracting coronavirus.

    Andy Wyness 53, was a member of Dalzell Bowling Club for the last 20 years, where he became club champion in 2009 and president in 2011.

    He became Gents District Secretary in 2016 for District 18 in Lanarkshire while also carrying out the roles of secretary and treasurer for the Motherwell, Wishaw and District Bowling Association.

    He was said to be a great supporter of all Bowls Scotland events.

    A Bowls Scotland statement said: "There was never a problem too big or too small. Andy always did everything he could to assist and was a true gentleman."

  7. 'I'm juggling essays, exams and a pandemic'

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: 'It's good to be chucked in the deep end'

    Nursing student Eilidh Duncan should be focusing on her final coursework and forthcoming exams but like thousands of other across the UK she has been fast-tracked to the frontline as part of the NHS response to Covid-19.

    The emergency means the 22-year-old will start work before she graduates from Glasgow Caledonian University.

    The third-year student described the last few weeks as a "blur". "I'm nervous but kind of excited as well," she says.

    Read more.

  8. More cuts announced by North Sea firms

    Douglas Fraser

    Scotland business & economy editor

    Further cuts have been announced by companies exploring and producing in the North Sea.

    A combination of the downturn in demand due to the Covid-19 outbreak, plus a global price war driving down revenue, has led to several firms cutting back budgets.

    Ithaca Energy, which took over the UK assets owned by Chevron, announced on Tuesday it intended to cut its capital budget in half, to about $120m.

    As a producer of about 75,000 barrels of oil or its equivalent each day, it intends to cut operating costs by $2 per barrel.

    Rockrose Energy yesterday announced it was cutting capital expenditure from $200m, by at least $80m.

    In addition, it said its budget for abandonment of wells was being cut by a sixth from $30m.

  9. A&E numbers 'lowest on record'

    The number of people attending A&E has plummeted since the coronavirus lockdown started.

    Before the pandemic, weekly A&E attendance rates so far this year had been about 25,000.

    New NHS Scotland figures show that, in the week ending 29 March, a total of 11,020 patients went to hospital emergency departments for help.

    Read more.

  10. Former PM Gordon Brown sends good wishes to Johnson

    Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

    Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has sent good wishes to Boris Johnson and said his situation is the "worst thing that can happen to a leader".

    "I feel very sorry for Boris Johnson," Mr Brown told BBC Radio 5 Live.

    "The worst thing that can happen to a leader is that they are incapacitated at the time when their leadership is needed the most.

    "I wish him well and hope his recovery is swift."

    Gordon Brown is also organising a 165-strong group, including more than 100 former presidents and prime ministers, to co-ordinate an effort and has called for more money to be spent on the fight against the coronavirus.

    He said countries were not co-ordinated enough and world leaders and organisations such as the World Health Organisation had to be forced to work together.

  11. SPFL board to discuss way ahead on Wednesday

    Brian McLauchlin

    BBC Sport Scotland

    Neil Doncaster is chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League
    Image caption: Neil Doncaster is chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League

    The SPFL board will convene on Wednesday morning to discuss how to resolve the season after postponing a scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

    The talks will take place before the four Scottish divisions hold scheduled conference calls from midday.

    Premiership clubs will be first, with the Championship, League One and League Two following at hourly intervals.

    In those, the 42 SPFL clubs will also be updated on the latest rules and health regulations they must follow.

  12. 'I felt like I was drowning in the fluid that was in my lungs'

    A London ambulance

    Geraldine McGroarty, a young Scottish doctor working in London, who describes herself as "super-fit", has been telling BBC Radio Scotland's Drivetime about her experience after contracting Covid-19.

    “It’s been pretty hard going," she says.

    “A week ago on Monday, I felt not quite right but I didn’t have a fever. I decided to go home from work and see how I was. The next day I still didn’t feel well, so I thought I’d self-isolate just to be on the safe side.

    “Over the course of the week I just got worse and worse until the weekend when I was struggling to breathe. On Sunday, I felt like I was drowning in the fluid that was in my lungs.

    “I was taken to hospital in an ambulance for a chest x-ray and a blood test, which showed I had pretty severe coronavirus, plus an underlying pneumonia.

    “I’m on oxygen therapy to support my lungs and I’m on antibiotics for the pneumonia, along with regular paracetamol to keep my temperature down.

    “I thought I probably would get exposed to it at some point, but I did not expect to get this unwell.

    “It’s hard to predict what will happen next, but I seem to be stable now and doing well."

  13. Raab: There has been progress on test numbers

    There's a question about the UK's target to carry out 100,000 tests per day before the end of this month.

    Dominic Raab says there are signs of "progress" in the testing figures and nine drive-through centres will help further.

    Asked about treatment for people care homes, Prof Chris Whitty says it is important to strike a balance between ensuring people are able to receive care and minimising unnecessary visits.

    He admits though that guaranteeing care for people in care homes will be among the "most difficult" tasks during the pandemic.

  14. Raab: We have been as transparent as possible

    Asked whether it is time to "level with people" about how long lockdown measures will last, Dominic Raab says: "We have levelled with everyone from the outset and been as transparent as possible.

    "But the critical thing is to take evidence-based decisions."

    Prof Chris Whitty adds: "It is really important we get to the point that we are all confident we are beyond the peak.

    "Then we can make clear the combination of things [we need to do to reduce measures] and what period of time is sensible."

    But Mr Raab says: "We are not at that stage yet."

  15. We can't take foot off the pedal, says Raab

    Dominic Raab is asked if Boris Johnson has expressed any preference for when the UK should exit its coronavirus lockdown.

    Mr Raab replies that the existing measures will be reviewed soon, but the government is "not at that stage yet".

    He adds it is important not to "take our foot off the pedal and risk losing the gains that have been made".

    Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific adviser, says the UK is three to four weeks behind Italy in the outbreak, although the statistics from the two countries may not end up looking the same.

  16. Whitty: Extremely easy virus to catch

    The government is asked how it has come to this - with several members of the cabinet having to isolate and the PM in hospital.

    Mr Raab says: "Because you have a virus which is totally indiscriminate.

    "We follow, all of us, the guidance as closely as possible.

    "But it is a very dangerous virus, very contagious and it goes to show no-one is impervious."

    Professor Chirs Whitty adds that coronavirus is "extremely easy" to catch and pass on, and shows why the lockdown was necessary.

    He adds: "It is a clear illustration of the fact this is why we are having to do this - to protect the NHS and the lives of other people."