Coronavirus cases in Borders up from 28 to 35 as disease’s death toll in Scotland hits 40

The number of cases of coronavirus diagnosed in the Borders is now up to 35 as the disease continues to spread through the region.

By Darin Hutson
Saturday, 28th March 2020, 2:13 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th March 2020, 3:23 pm
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon giving a press briefing in Edinburgh yesterday on the continuing spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Michael Schofield/WPA/Pool/Getty Images)
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon giving a press briefing in Edinburgh yesterday on the continuing spread of coronavirus. (Photo by Michael Schofield/WPA/Pool/Getty Images)

That increase of seven cases today, March 28, is the second biggest daily rise here yet, exceeded only by one of eight the day before yesterday.

Today’s daily update issued by the Scottish Government also reveals that 1,245 cases of the disease have been confirmed nationwide, up from 1,059 yesterday.

Across the UK, 17,089 people have tested positive for the illness, also known as Covid-19, including UK Government prime minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock and chief medical officer Chris Whitty, as well as the Prince of Wales.

That’s up from 14,579 the day before.

The death toll taken by coronavirus in Scotland now stands at 40, up from 33 yesterday, and the number of fatalities it has claimed UK-wide has risen from 759 to 1,019, that daily increase of 260 being the biggest yet.

Some 13,133 tests for the illness have now been carried out in Scotland, with 11,888 proving negative.

It’s two and a half weeks now since the first two cases of the illness were confirmed in the Borders on Wednesday, March 11, and approaching a month since Scotland’s first case was announced on Sunday, March 1, after spreading worldwide from China, with that figure going up to three on the Friday of that week, five on the Saturday, seven the day after, eight last Thursday, nine last Friday, 10 on Saturday, 11 on Sunday, 12 on Monday, 15 on Wednesday, 23 on Thursday and 28 yesterday.

Though on the rise, the number of cases of Covid-19 in the Borders is dwarfed by those reported in the neighbouring health board areas of Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire and Lothian, up to 60, 165 and 151 respectively.

The 1,200-plus Scots confirmed to have coronavirus are likely to be only a small fraction of the number actually infected, according to the country’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood.

She estimates the number of people in Scotland infected with the disease, as of yesterday, to be more than 65,000, and that guess that only one in just over 60 cases of coronavirus here has been detected would, if accurate, put the likely figure for the Borders at around 2,100.

Speaking at a briefing in Edinburgh yesterday, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots to carry on complying with the lockdown announced on Monday, saying: “We must continue to do the right thing for the sake of the National Health Service and those who are most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill and dying from this virus, and that means staying at home.

“By doing that, every single one of us in this collective national endeavour is helping to slow down the spread of this virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

“I know that many of you will already be struggling with being cooped up in the house as much as you are right now and not being able to do all the normal things that you would do at the weekend, but it is vital that all of us stick with this.”