The number of people who have died in Scotland after contracting coronavirus is 222, a rise of two from Sunday, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
She stressed this would not be a “true figure” and would be “artificially low” as officials change the way deaths are reported.
Work is currently being done to make the National Registers of Scotland (NRS) death reporting service one that works seven days a week, so Ms Sturgeon said more deaths were expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
Ms Sturgeon said the figures would be “reconciled” on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, along with an NRS report on Covid-19 deaths in the community.
Speaking at a briefing at the Scottish Government headquarters in Edinburgh, the First Minister acknowledged it had been a “difficult 24 hours for the Government” after the resignation of former chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood over two trips she made to her second home in Fife – flouting her own guidance aimed at tackling Covid-19.
Speaking about Dr Calderwood, the First Minister said she was not aware of the first visit made by the former CMO to her second home in Fife, which she said took place last weekend.
She said: “The line that was issued on Saturday night reflected the information that we had at the time, a couple of hours after the query and up against a deadline, of the reason for her visit to her house in Fife that weekend.
“She later clarified that she had been there the weekend before and she made that clear at the briefing.”
The First Minister said that the reasons for Dr Calderwood’s trip to the home were “not actually important”, adding: “They did not give a justification for her breaching the guidance and the advice that was in place.”
Ms Sturgeon said the issues facing the Scottish Government over the weekend were nothing compared to the hardship faced by those who had contracted coronavirus. and those treating them.
She said Dr Gregor Smith, who acted as Dr Calderwood’s deputy, would be taking over as interim chief medical officer for the foreseeable future.
In total, 3,961 people have tested positive across the country and the number of patients being treated in hospital for Covid-19 is 1,599 including 199 in intensive care.
The First Minister also warned that the peak of the virus was still in the future, admitting that “there is almost certainly worse to come before we turn the corner of this virus”.
Speaking for the first time in his new role, Dr Smith looked to reassure people that the NHS is still caring for people, both with and without coronavirus.
He said: “If you have symptoms you’re concerned about, I don’t want you to sit at home worrying about them.
“Your NHS will remain here at all times.”
The First Minister also wished Prime Minister Boris Johnson well after he was admitted to hospital on Sunday night with coronavirus symptoms.