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NHS Highland region detects six new cases of Covid-19 coronavirus; news comes as Scotland recorded 800 fresh infections and Scottish Government First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed plans to announce further control measures at Holyrood on Wednesday but will stop short of a lockdown

By Philip Murray

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SIX new cases of Covid-19 have been detected by NHS Highland.

The region's overall number of cases rose from 722 to 728 when the Scottish Government published its latest daily update this afternoon.

The rise came against a backdrop of 800 fresh positive tests for the virus across the whole of Scotland.

The country has now recorded 33,706 confirmed cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic.

Hospital admissions have also continued their recent increase, with 262 patients receiving treatment for recently-confirmed Covid-19 yesterday – up 44 on just 24 hours earlier.

Of those 262 cases, some 25 were in intensive care – an increase of three from Monday's update.

And sadly two further people who tested positive have died.

The increases come as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gears up to announce further containment measures. An announcement is expected on Wednesday, although she used her daily update today to stress that there was no plan return to the lockdown of March, and that schools would also remain open.

Elsewhere in the north of Scotland, the recent cluster of cases in NHS Eileanan Siar continued – with three new positive tests in the past 24 hours, taking its cumulative tally to 50.

NHS Shetland (60 cumulative cases) and NHS Orkney (23) recorded no fresh cases overnight – and it is now more than a week since either one returned a positive test.

NHS Grampian, meanwhile, detected 20 new cases to take its overall total to 2451, and NHS Tayside detected 27 further infections to take its tally to 2674.

Once again, the central belt recorded the lion's share of new cases, with health boards for Greater Glasgow & Clyde, and Lanarkshire, accounting for more than half of Scotland's new cases alone.

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