Coronavirus cases in Borders up to 15

The number of coronavirus cases confirmed in the Borders went up by a quarter today, March 25, rising from 12 to 15.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 6:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 6:47 pm
Borders doctor Graeme Eunson.

They’re among 719 cases of the illness, also known as Covid-19 diagnosed in Scotland to date, up from 584 yesterday.

Across the UK, 8,077 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

The death toll claimed by Covid-19 in Scotland now stands at 22, and the number of fatalities attributable to the virus UK-wide is up to 422.

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Some 10,676 tests for the illness have now been carried out in Scotland, with 9,957 coming back negative.

Though now into double figures, the number of cases confirmed in the Borders is well below those for neighbouring health board patches, with Dumfries and Galloway’s tally standing at 31, Lanarkshire’s at 87 and Lothian’s at 88.

It’s two weeks now since the first two cases of the illness were confirmed in the Borders 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 and 12 on Monday.

That ongoing rise in cases has prompted Borders doctor Graeme Eunson to issue a plea to people to comply with the rules now issued in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Dr Eunson, a consultant paediatrician at the Borders General Hospital at Melrose and chairman of the British Medical Association’s Scottish consultants’ committee, told Glasgow’s Herald newspaper this week: “It is the public who are the front line, and we are the second, if you like.

“This fight will be won by people helping to prevent the spread and transmission of this virus, not in hospitals, accident-and-emergency wards and GP services. The thing we have the power to control is transmission.

“And it is not just an older person’s disease. Everyone has a part to play in this.

“Young people could be passing it on to someone else, and then we have a situation where our health service would be overwhelmed, and that is what we are trying to prevent.

“In France, data has shown that if each person who catches it passes it on to 1.5 people, then France is predicting that 1,000 people would die in three weeks.

“If every person passes it on to three people, that is 11,000 deaths.

“The exponential spread of the disease means that very quickly the capacity is not there to give care and support.

“This is why the advice of keeping away from people, particularly those who are vulnerable, and shielding people is the only way to prevent the spread.

“I don’t think there is anyone alive who is working in the health service and has seen anything on this scale.

“We had swine flu, which was a variant of influenza, and we were able to adapt vaccines accordingly. However, there is no evidence of this virus in humans before and very little research into this.”