Kenny Dalglish hailed the heroes of the NHS after being released from hospital yesterday.
The football legend, who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 after being admitted to hospital with gallstones, paid tribute to the tireless professionals on the frontline of the international health emergency.
Sir Kenny, a Sunday Post columnist, had shown no symptoms but was back home yesterday in self-isolation.
But there was little other good news yesterday as official figures revealed almost 10,000 people have died in the UK because of coronavirus.
Most Scots obeyed the lockdown despite the Easter weekend bringing good weather, but holiday homeowners were accused of flouting the restrictions as Highland communities accused them of selfishly enjoying Easter breaks.
People living in the Highlands and Islands said many of second homes there were occupied yesterday and accused the owners of risking spreading infection and stretching local services and supplies.
In other developments:
- 47 more people have died of Covid-19 illnesses in Scotland, taking the total to 542. Across the country, 29,903 people have now been tested for Covid-19, with 5,590 testing positive.
- Four people were issued with fixed-penalty notices for breaking lockdown after they had to be rescued from Cramond Island off Edinburgh yesterday afternoon, three men aged 26, 31, and 32 along with a woman 28.
- A total of 19 NHS workers have died across the UK, including 10 doctors, all from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, prompting Labour calls for an inquiry.
- 9,875 people have died in the UK, an increase of 917. The youngest just 11 years old.
- The US now has the highest number of Covid-19 victims in the world, with 19,681 fatalities overtaking Italy’s death toll after 2,000 Americans died in one day.
- The Queen has stressed the importance of maintaining the coronavirus lockdown during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, saying “by keeping apart we keep others safe”. In what is believed to be her first Easter address, the Queen said: “We know that coronavirus will not overcome us.”
- Home Secretary Priti Patel revealed fraudsters have used the pandemic to con Britons out of £1.8 million.
- The Duke of Cambridge has praised how the Church of Scotland has “reinvented itself” in the wake of the pandemic.
- Mental health charities warned of a surge in calls to helplines as a result of the crisis.
- Aid agencies expressed alarm after the first virus case was confirmed in Yemen, where years of civil war have devastated health systems.
- Downing Street says Prime Minister Boris Johnson “continues to make very good progress”.
Yesterday islanders on Arran, Islay and Bute spoke out against people occupying holiday homes. Last weekend Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood quit after it emerged she had visited her second home in Fife on consecutive weekends despite being the face of the official campaign for people to stay at home.
Last week, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was also criticised for holing up with his family in his second home in Cornwall. Many second homes on Arran – which has the UK’s second highest concentration of holiday property after Cornwall – are now occupied. Community council chairman Bill Calderwood said: “We’ve been trying to halt this since the stay-at-home, essential travel message was first put out.
“We know which houses are permanent and which houses are second homes or are let short term and there’s a significant number occupied.
“The health service, chemist and local shop are not geared up for business as usual. It’s putting undue stress on our local services.
“People who think they have a second home and it would be nice to shelter there are putting everyone at risk.”
It emerged yesterday that ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne had stopped 66 travel parties from boarding its services from Oban without a legitimate reason.
Islay Community Council secretary Jim Porteous said people have been bypassing rules to get on ferries to Islay by showing utility bills from their second homes on the island.
He added: “First of all we had an influx of camper vans. That was stopped. Then it’s been second homeowners doing the same. It’s a big worry for us.
“The first thing a second home owner does is fill up their freezer. We’ve had many days of complete under-stocking in the shops. Apart from toilet roll, there have been many days of no basics like bread because of the second homeowners.
“The facilities here are sparse. We only have six beds in the hospital. It’s not something we want on the island because it’s risking people’s lives. We have a population that’s above average age so it’s vulnerable.”
Lorraine McFadden, who runs a shop in Glencoe, said: “There was a couple in the shop yesterday who arrived in a hired van. I challenged them and they said they had driven from Edinburgh and they were touring around and sleeping in the van. I called the police and they were tracked in Fort William and told to return home.”
But yesterday Traffic Scotland’s cameras showed that tourist routes like the A9, A82 and A85 were virtually free from traffic. The AA said: “The cameras don’t lie. The roads are empty and people seem to be taking heed of the instructions, as the pictures show.”
Louise McInnes, owner of the village shop in Drymen, Stirlingshire, located on one of the main routes to Loch Lomond, said: “It’s so quiet the deer have been wandering past eating the tulips at the side of the main road.”
Easter Sunday is forecast to be cooler than yesterday, with the highest temperatures reaching between 11 and 13C. Easter Monday will be drier with the best of the sunshine in the south and west of Scotland, but it will still be chilly as temperatures are forecast to peak at 11C.
The Scottish Government said: “At the Easter weekend, our National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has asked people to continue to help in tackling coronavirus and only travel for essential reasons.”
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