There have been 50 more confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ayrshire and Arran.

The total now stands at 362 with 94 people in hospital at midnight last night in NHS Ayrshire and Arran with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, and 15 people in intensive care.

The healthboard has suspended ante-natal visits to protect staff, mothers and families from potential spread of coronavirus.

However, Immunisation programmes will continue, as well as first visit contacts and developmental milestone visits.

Dr Crawford McGuffie, Medical Director, said: "NHS Ayrshire & Arran Health Visiting Services continue to support the delivery of services.

"Staff are provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, as well as appropriate guidance prior to visiting. This is in order to protect our staff and families."

Just 100 days since the first case of coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, the first virtual session of First Ministers' Questions was held.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the updated Scotland-wide figures, with 4,957 positive cases confirmed, a 392 increase, and 1,781 in hospital.

She said 212 people were being treated in ICUs last night.

Tragically, 81 more deaths were confirmed, bringing the Scottish total to 447.

This morning, the Scottish Government announced, in a joint statement with COSLA and SJC Union, that UK guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) applied across the four nations.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Wherever a health or care worker feels they should be wearing a mask they should do so."

A spokersperson for UNISON said: "The Chief Nursing Officer's letter would have seen Scottish home and social carers receive less protection than their UK counterparts and had the potential to put them and their patients at increased risk of COVID-19."

The original PPE guidance from the Chief Nursing Officer said: “Where the person is neither suspected to be, nor confirmed as COVID positive, care at home staff carrying out personal care should wear what they have always worn – that is, an apron and gloves; and no mask. This applies regardless of the 2m distance.
"The same would apply to a community nurse visiting the same client: they too would wear gloves and apron, and no mask. Furthermore, home care workers and community staff going into people’s houses should only wear a mask when they suspect the person has COVID, and they cannot keep a 2m distance.

"If this is not suspected – or if they can keep a 2m distance – then they do not need to wear a mask”

Unions said this PPE guidance caused a lot of concerns amongst home and social carers and it conflicted with advice issued by the UK Government.

This morning, the Scottish Government announced that now it would be up to the individual worker's own judgment.

The statement read: "They are professionals and we trust their professional judgement."

The First Minister announced this afternoon that the number of people in Scotland who are in the shielded group category is 136,000.

Ms Sturgeon said they have now all had letters. 21,000 have registered with the text service. Just under 6,000 free food packages have been ordered and 4,200 have already been delivered with the government working with supermarkets.


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