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Covid: Deaths increase by 11 in Scotland

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image captionA patient carries out his own Covid-19 test at a new walk-through testing site in Inverness

A further 11 people who tested positive for Covid-19 have died in Scotland.

The Scottish government's daily update showed that 1,433 more positive cases were recorded in the previous 24 hours - 19.1% of people newly tested.

There were 524 new cases in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 321 in Lanarkshire, 174 in Ayrshire and Arran and 166 in Lothian.

A total of 985 people were in hospital and 84 people were in intensive care, an increase of eight on Friday.

The death toll under the measure of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days has risen to 2,699.

A total of 55,449 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 54,016 the previous day.

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Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that despite recording 11 more deaths linked to Covid-19, the figures gave cause for "cautious optimism".

He said the 1,433 more positive cases recorded in the previous 24 hours could have been higher.

He said: "I think we can take some optimism from the figures, that we are not seeing the increase growing faster than we might have predicted would be the case and I think that's a measure of the effectiveness of the measures and the level of public compliance applied to the restrictions.

"If we had predicted the pattern of the increase in cases a couple of weeks ago, we would have expected today to have had much higher numbers reported."

On Saturday a new walk-through testing centre opened in Inverness.

The site, at Highland Council's headquarters in Glenurquhart Rd, is the 11th of 22 planned pedestrian centres in Scotland.

image captionA guide to self-administering a Covid test in Inverness

Created by the UK government, the centre will be operated by Mitie.

Other sites are already running in St Andrews, Aberdeen, West Dunbartonshire, Stirling, Dundee, Inverclyde and two in each in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Each local test site has a daily capacity of 300 tests.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced this week that Scotland aims to increase testing capacity to 65,000 tests per day by building three regional testing hubs in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, as well as increasing the amount of testing done by the UK government.

'Testing is vital'

Scotland Office minister David Duguid said: "The UK government is helping all parts of the UK fight the coronavirus pandemic and this new walk-through testing centre in Inverness will make it easier for people to get tested.

"Testing is vital, helping to manage local outbreaks and protecting people's livelihoods.

"The UK government is providing the bulk of Covid testing in Scotland, and this new walk-through centre is just the latest in our extensive testing network.

"We are pleased to be working with local and commercial partners. These sites are not possible without the hard work of many people and I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work to get this testing centre up and running."

image captionA patient hands over their test at the Inverness testing centre

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: "Working alongside the UK government and local partners, the site in Inverness delivers on our commitment to have 11 walk through centres in place across Scotland by the end of October with another 11 planned over the course of the winter.

"This is testament to the hard work and commitment of those working to set up the sites as well as those on the ground delivering tests at the centres.

"Containing and suppressing this virus relies on testing being accessible to everyone and this site will further increase our testing capacity ahead of potential spikes as we move into winter.

"Centres like this can be operational in a matter of days, and we are working at pace with NHS National Services Scotland and local authorities to roll out more across the country so that more people have access to local testing."

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