MORE deaths have been reported in Scotland in the past two days from coronavirus that in the previous five days put together, official stats show.

Nicola Sturgeon today announced another daily record 16 deaths from coronavirus, topping the previous daily record of 13 yesterday.

The 29 deaths in two days eclipses the 25 death reported in the previous five days.

The number of reported positive Covid-19 cases over the past two days stands at 747 -75 more than in the previous four days put together.

There are now 2310 positive reported Covid-19 cases in Scotland - but the Scottish Government says that is a "significant underestimate" of the true spread of the virus across the country.

HeraldScotland:

There has been a rise in the number of intensive care patients from 51 last week to 147 as of last night, and the Scottish Government expects that incrase to continue for a futther two or three weeks at least.

It came as some experts claimed the death rate from coronavirus will be lower in Scotland than the rest of the UK because lockdown measures were introduced at an earlier stage in the country’s ‘epidemic curve’, experts have said.

The spread of the virus in Scotland is believed to be lagging around six to seven days behind the UK hotspot in London.

It was the capital’s unexpectedly rapid transmission rates, with new cases appearing faster than they had in other countries, which led epidemiologists to pressure ministers into ramping up restrictions.

All pubs, restaurants and leisure venues were ordered to close on the same weekend across the whole of the UK as part of hardline social distancing measures, with all shops except pharmacies or food outlets suspending trading soon after.

HeraldScotland:

The public, across the UK, have also been told to stay at home as much as possible, limit public transport use and avoid meeting friends or relatives unless they share the same household.

However, it is thought that the effect of these interventions will be more pronounced in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland is at the stage of the epidemic where cases and deaths are "sadly" rising.

"We hope the lockdown measures will have a marked effect on the spread of the virus and we will see a slow down in the next few weeks," she said.

HeraldScotland:

"However as these measures take some time to have an impact, it is too early to draw any firm conclusions yet.

"In any event, we must continue to plan for what will be a considerable impact on the NHS and indeed on wider society."

The Scottish Government has now doubled intensive care capacity to 360 beds with 250 ICU beds that can be used exclusively for Covid-19 patients.  They are now looking to quadruple coronavirus beds more than 740, with the help of the delivery of new ventilators.

NHS boards have been in the meantime "repurposing" anaesthetic machines for use as ventilators.

She said the government believes the intensive care units are in a "much stronger position" to cope with the "expected peak" of the pandemic.

But this assumed that people across the country "do the right thing" in the lockdown.

HeraldScotland:

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