THERE are now 778 confirmed cases of in Ayrshire – as all staff and residents at care homes struck by the virus are to be tested.

The number of patients in hospitals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has fallen to 105 a decrease of eight in 24 hours, and there are six in intensive care units, an increase of one since yesterday.

Yesterday it was announced that in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, 159 patients who had tested positive have been discharged since March 5.

Sadly it was confirmed this week that 159 people had died from the virus in Ayrshire.

41 of those deaths occurred in East Ayrshire, 63 were in South Ayrshire and 55 were in North Ayrshire.

It was reported that a third of all Ayrshire COVID-19 deaths were in care homes, as the Scottish Government promised to ramp up testing.

An enhanced outbreak investigation of care home cases will be carried out at care homes with confirmed cases.

Nicola Sturgeon, today promised a vigorous to testing in care homes with a confirmed case, which will include testing of all residents and staff -whether or not they have symptoms of the virus.

Up until now, testing was for residents with symptoms, those admitted to homes and symptomatic care home staff.

As part of the increased testing, the First Minister announced that over 65s and non-key workers who require to leave home to go to work can now be tested, and that an online queuing system could be set up to meet demand.

Nicola Sturgeon has set an expectation to have 12,000 daily tests by the middle of the month.

Testing will be carried out at NHS facilities across all 14 health boards, with the capacity of 3,500 tests a day target met for April.

The new daily capacity will be 4,350.

She also confirmed that a Glasgow University testing facility, the Lighthouse has the capacity for a further 4,000 tests.

She said: "This expansion of testing that I set out today is separate and distinct from our move to establish a test, trace, isolate system as part of our approach to changing and hopefully alleviating the lockdown measures."

An antibody test to detect immunity to the virus has also been rolled out.

Cabinet Secretary for health Jeanne Freeman announced that the testing will start within six health boards, Lothian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Tayside, Highland and Grampian.

The First Minister advised to be cautious that the UK is past the peak of the virus following on from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s comments yesterday.

She said: “I would be cautious about saying we are past the peak. We want to flatten the curve, the peak is not a single day, or a couple of days.

"The progress we’ve made is really fragile it would not take much for it to be reversed.

“We can’t take our foot off the gas and think we’re past the danger point.”