COUNCIL leader Susan Aitken said over 78,000 jobs would be affected if the city had to move to level four of the new Scottish Government restrictions as she urged Glaswegians to follow public health advice.

The “escalation of the virus” and further restrictions would have an “even more devastating impact” on the city, the SNP councillor added.

She said the City Region’s intelligence hub had calculated more than 12,500 jobs are affected by level three restrictions.

“That would go up to over 78,000 jobs under level four, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Ms Aitken said Glasgow is “in a second wave” and “far too many people” are catching the virus.

She was speaking at a full council meeting where Glasgow Tories leader Thomas Kerr presented a motion calling for more help for businesses.

There was cross-party support for an amendment, put forward by the city’s Labour group, which instructed the council’s chief executive to write to the UK and Scottish Governments, urging further financial support packages.

It also agreed additional restrictions are necessary to save lives and protects jobs.

Ms Aitken said: “The choice in Glasgow is not between level three and level two just now.

“It is between level three and level four, and we must do everything we can to prevent going up to level four.

“That must be the urgent priority for all of us and I would urge all elected members to see that it is our collective, civic responsibility to mobilise our citizens in a collective effort in Glasgow.”

The council leader added: “Level two will be in sight, it is achievable, but only if we all pull together now.

“It is vital for the future of our city economy and the wellbeing of our citizens.”

Mr Kerr had called on the council to “recognise alongside the health crisis we are facing is an economic crisis”.

“Major sectors of our city economy have been closed for weeks now and face an unspecified period of further restrictions,” he said.

“In the hospitality sector, the new tier three system measures will bring them fresh challenges and businesses are crying out for some clarity on what all of this will mean.”

He said how hospitality businesses “survive this pandemic is still not clear to me”.

In response, Ms Aitken said: “I’m acutely aware of the economic and labour market crisis that is facing this city as a result of this pandemic.”

But she said the restrictions had been introduced “in the context of a public health emergency”.

“Glasgow is in a second wave, let us have no doubt about it. There are far too many people in this city catching the virus, too many becoming sick and having to be hospitalised.

“Sadly, some people are still dying, and their loved ones are living with that loss.”

Glasgow Greens councillor Jon Molyneux said: “Suppressing and eliminating the virus is the most important thing we can do to support long-term economic recovery, because that will avoid or reduce the need for us to have stop-start interventions.”