As many as 50,000 people in Scotland could be infected with coronavirus, it has been claimed, as the number of deaths from the disease rose to 25.

Chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said the official total for the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 was a “very significant underestimate”

Figures on Thursday show 894 people in Scotland are now confirmed as having coronavirus, a jump of 175 from the previous day’s total of 719.

The number of deaths among Covid-19 patients has risen by three from 22 on Wednesday.

Dr Calderwood warned: “This is a very significant underestimate of the number of cases in Scotland.

“We’re probably looking at the order of 40,000 to 50,000 people in Scotland who are now infected with coronavirus.”

She added: “Many of them don’t yet know that they are infected nor indeed do they realise they are potentially going to infect those around them.”

While she said it had been very encouraging to see empty streets and empty shops, she said the fight against the disease was “going to be a long haul”.