There are now 240 confirmed coronavirus cases in Ayrshire.

This is an increase of 19 from 221 yesterday.

Across Scotland, 3,001 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

Sadly, the First Minister announced a further 46 deaths related to the virus.

A total of 172 people have died having contracted coronavirus, a number of them have been reported in Ayrshire.

Specific locations of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths are not revealed by the government, however, there are plans to release more detailed information in the future.

At the daily government briefing this afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon sought to temper media reports that next week could be the peak of the virus.

She said: "I want to be very clear that nothing I have seen gives me any basis for predicting that the virus will peak as early as a week's time here in Scotland."

Chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, reiterated the important of following the stringent lockdown measures in place to suppress the spread of the virus as we approach the Easter holiday.

Ms Sturgeon describe the forthcoming spring holiday as 'a holiday period unlike any we will have known in our lifetimes'.

She said: "It’s not possible to go on holiday, everyone will be staying home. Once again, I know how hard this is, but I also want to stress again that these restrictions are absolutely essential."

Ms Sturgeon spoke about government plans to increase testing for the virus and restated the target of 3,500 daily tests by the end of the month.

She also announced the establishment of a testing oversight group which will, amongst other things, oversee the development of anti-body testing, surveillance, access to testing and NHS capacity for testing.

Letters have been sent out to almost all of the individuals the Scottish Government has identified to be in the 'vulnerable' categories requiring 'shielding measures'.

120,000 people across the nation are in one or more of these categories and they will all receive a letter with information about what measures the should take and what services are available to them.

More than 8,000 people have signed up a service that provides deliveries. Details are in the letters people have received.

Speaking directly to people in the vulnerable group, Ms Sturgeon said: "You might not feel like you need help right now, but registering now will help us keep in touch with you.

"We know, fundamentally, that some people due to pre-existing conditions are at particularly high risk of the virus."

For more information visit NHS Inform here.


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