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Coronavirus latest: 154 new cases as school absence figures released

© Peter Byrne/PA WireA mobile testing centre
A mobile testing centre

Scotland has recorded 154 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The figure, representing 1.2 per cent of newly tested individuals, follows Monday’s total of 160, the highest total since May 16.

Six people are in intensive care and 264 are in hospital with confirmed Covid-19.

With another day of no deaths recorded, the number of fatalities remains at 2,494, with 20,632 cases in total since the beginning of the pandemic.

The First Minister said: “I would draw attention to the fact that 66 of today’s cases are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the situation there is causing us some concern.

“Further analysis is under way, and I will be chairing a meeting of the Resilience Committee late this afternoon to consider what action may be necessary.

“I will provide a further update after that.”

School absences

The Scottish Government has also released figures from Friday on how many pupils were absent from school for reasons relating to coronavirus.

22,821 pupils were off for either all or part of the school day.

The absence rate related to Covid-19 was 3.2 per cent, and 12.3 per cent for unrelated issues.

It came as a cluster of five cases of Covid-19 was confirmed in the community of Grantown.

Dr Tim Allison, public health director with NHS Highland, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the virus can recur even in rural communities and so everyone should continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines, wear a face covering when in enclosed spaces, clean your hands and surfaces regularly, and immediately self-isolate if you develop symptoms.”

Five positive cases were also identified in the NHS Forth Valley area on Monday.

New app

A new proximity mobile app, Protect Scotland, was announced by the First Minister as part of the Scottish Government’s agenda for this parliamentary session.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The app will provide an additional means of notifying and giving advice if you’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive – even if you don’t know them and they don’t know you.

“There will be more information at the time of launch – as well as important assurances about privacy and confidentiality – but I encourage everyone to download and use the app as soon as it becomes available.

“Stopping the virus in its tracks is our priority.”