Cases of coronavirus in Borders now nearing 150 as death toll here rises to 19

Confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to rise in the Borders and are now nearing 150.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 2:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 8:01 pm
UK prime minister Boris Johnson on the telephone to Queen Elizabeth II for a weekly audience on March 25. (Photo by Andrew Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
UK prime minister Boris Johnson on the telephone to Queen Elizabeth II for a weekly audience on March 25. (Photo by Andrew Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

A daily update issued by the Scottish Government on the spread of coronavirus through the country reveals an increase of 10 cases today, April 7, taking the total for the region to 149.

The death toll claimed by the illness in the region has risen by two overnight to 19, as reported earlier.

The first five fatalities claimed here by Covid-19 were announced on Monday, March 30, and that figure rose to seven the day after, eight the next day, 11 last Thursday, 14 on Friday, 16 on Sunday, 17 yesterday and 19 today.

They’re among a death toll of 296 nationwide, up from 222 yesterday, and 5,373 across the UK, up from 4,934 the day before.

Some 4,229 cases of the illness have been confirmed nationwide, up from 3,961 yesterday.

UK-wide, 51,608 people, including British prime minister Boris Johnson, have tested positive for the illness, up from 47,806 the day before.

Mr Johnson is currently being treated in an intensive care unit at a hospital in London after being admitted on Sunday. The 55-year-old is said to be in a stable condition.

Some 25,022 tests for coronavirus have now been carried out in Scotland, with 20,793 proving negative.

It’s nearing four weeks now since the first two cases of the illness were confirmed in the Borders on Wednesday, March 11, and over a month since Scotland’s first case, in Tayside, was announced on Sunday, March 1, after spreading across the world from Wuhan in China.

That figure went up to three on Friday, March 13; five on Saturday, March 14; seven on Sunday, March 15; eight the following Thursday, March 19; nine on Friday, March 20; 10 on Saturday, March 21; 11 on Sunday, March 22; 12 on Monday, March 23; 15 last Wednesday; 23 last Thursday; 28 last Friday; 35 on Saturday; 50 on Sunday; 63 on Monday; 77 on Tuesday; 87 on Wednesday; 93 yesterday; 100 on Friday; 110 on Saturday; 130 on Sunday; 139 yesterday; and 149 today.

Though rising rapidly, the number of cases of Covid-19 in the Borders is still lower than those reported in the neighbouring health board areas of Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire and Lothian, up to 152, 547 and 621 respectively.

Wishing Mr Johnson well, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon told a briefing in Edinburgh today: “At times like this, things that divide us in normal times just seem so much less important, and we are very much reminded of that again today.

“Right now, all of us are just human beings united in a fight against this virus.

“As we know, the prime minister, as well as leading the UK’s response, is currently in hospital fighting his own personal battle against coronavirus.

“I chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s cabinet this morning and we recorded our very best wishes to him.

“Now, and I’m sure I do this on behalf of all of Scotland, I want to send every good wish to him, his fiancee and to his whole family.

“We are all willing you on, Boris. Get well soon.”

Ms Sturgeon added that the figure for fatalities over the past 24 hours is “relatively large” because staff at the National Records of Scotland are moving to recording deaths seven days a week rather than five.

The 4,000-plus Scots confirmed to have coronavirus are likely to be only a small fraction of the actual number infected, though, according to former Scottish chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood.

Dr Calderwood, replaced on an interim basis by Gregor Smith following her resignation on Sunday after being caught flouting lockdown rules, estimates that only around one in 64 cases of Covid-19 has been detected this side of the border.

That guess, if correct, would put the likely figure for the region at more than 9,500 out of a population of 115,000 or so.