Coronavirus cases in Borders up two to 281

Another two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Borders today, May 1, taking the total for the region past 280.

By Darin Hutson
Friday, 1st May 2020, 3:10 pm
Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon giving an update today on the spread of Covid-19 nationwide.
Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon giving an update today on the spread of Covid-19 nationwide.

Some 11,654 cases of the illness have now been diagnosed nationwide, up 301 from 11,353 yesterday.

Across the UK, 171,253 people have tested positive for coronavirus, up 6,032 on the day before.

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

That figure rose 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 on Wednesday, March 25; 23 on Thursday, March 26; 28 on Friday, March 27; 35 on Saturday, March 28; 50 on Sunday, March 29; 63 on Monday, March 30; 77 on Tuesday, March 31; 87 on Wednesday, April 1; 93 on Thursday, April 2; 100 on Friday, April 3; 110 on Saturday, April 4; 130 on Sunday, April 5; 139 last Monday, April 6; 149 on Tuesday, April 7; 160 on Wednesday, April 8; 167 on Thursday, April 9; 177 on Friday, April 10; 189 on Saturday, April 11; 199 on Sunday, April 12; 204 on Monday, April 13; 208 on Tuesday, April 14; 215 on Wednesday, April 15; 220 on Thursday, April 16; 229 on Friday, April 17; 231 on Saturday, April 18; 237 on Sunday, April 19; 239 on Monday, April 20; 240 on Tuesday, April 21; 243 on Wednesday, April 22; 248 on Thursday, April 23; 253 last Friday, April 24; 258 on Saturday; 259 on Sunday; 269 on Monday; 272 on Tuesday; 279 on Wednesday; and 281 today.

There’s been no increase overnight in the number of deaths claimed by the disease in the region, and it remains at 31.

It’s now been a month since the first five fatalities here attributable to the virus, also known as Covid-19 were announced on Monday, March 30.

That figure rose to seven the day after, March 31; eight on Wednesday, April 1; 11 on Thursday, April 2; 14 on Friday, April 3; 16 on Sunday, April 5; 17 on Monday, April 6; 19 on Tuesday, April 7; 20 on Friday, April 10; 22 on Saturday, April 11; 23 on Sunday, April 12; 26 on Monday, April 13; 27 last Thursday, April 23; 28 last Friday; 29 on Monday; 30 on Wednesday; and 31 yesterday.

They are among 1,515 coronavirus patients killed by the disease in Scotland so far, up 40 from 1,475 overnight, and 26,771 UK-wide, a rise of 674 on the day before.

The number of cases of Covid-19 in the Borders remains higher than in one of its neighbouring health board areas, Dumfries and Galloway’s total being 249, but is still well below the two others, Lanarkshire and Lothian being up to 1,400 and 2,014 respectively.

Altogether, 110 Scots are in intensive care receiving treatment for coronavirus, with 100 having tested positive and the others awaiting results.

Some 56,702 tests for the illness have been carried out in Scotland so far, with 45,048 returning negative results.

Giving an update in Edinburgh today, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “A total of 1,809 patients are in hospital with Covid-19. That is an increase of 61 from yesterday.

“A total of 110 people last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid 19. That is an increase of one since yesterday.

“I am also able to confirm today that since March 5, a total of 2,659 patients who had tested positive for the virus have been able to leave hospital. I wish all of them well.

“However I also have to report that in the last 24 hours, 40 deaths have been registered of patients confirmed as having Covid-19. That takes the total number of deaths in Scotland, under that measurement, to 1,515.

“I never think of these numbers as statistics. They represent individuals whose loss is a source of sorrow to many, so once again, I send my deepest condolences to everyone who is grieving.

“I also want to thank – as I always do – our health and care workers. The entire country deeply appreciates everything you are doing for us.”

She added: “At the beginning of April, I said that by the end of the month I wanted us to have testing capacity within our NHS labs of 3,500 tests a day.

“For context, at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, we had two NHS labs, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh, that between them could do 350 tests a day.

“I can confirm that we now have NHS labs operating in all 14 health board areas, and yesterday, we met our target of having the capacity to process 3,500 tests per day. In fact, we exceeded it. As of now, we have active lab capacity for 4,350 tests a day to be carried out within the NHS.

“And by the end of next week, the capacity within the NHS will increase further to around 6,500 tests per day, and we are aiming to reach 8,000 by the middle of this month.

“I also promised that we would work to ensure that Scotland benefited from UK-wide efforts to reach capacity of 100,000 tests per day.

“We are doing that. The Lighthouse laboratory based at Glasgow University, which became operational last week, is one of three Lighthouse centres across the UK.

“The majority of the samples tested there are taken from the regional drive-through testing centres in Scotland – in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Perth – and the new mobile testing sites that are being established, all as part of the UK government network.

“The Glasgow University lab has a current testing capacity of 4,000 tests a day, though that will reduce to 2,000 a day for the next four days as they move to a new shift system, before increasing to 4,000 again from Tuesday.

“Between the 4,350 tests that can now be processed in our NHS labs and the 4,000 in the Lighthouse lab, the total normal daily capacity for coronovirus testing in Scotland is now 8,350, and with further projected increases in NHS capacity, I expect that to be at least 10,500 by this time next week and 12,000 by the middle of the month.

“That is a significant increase in capacity, and I pay tribute to all those who have worked so hard to achieve it, both in our NHS Scotland labs and in the UK Government testing network.

“Of course, laboratory capacity is one thing. What matters is the volume of testing we do and the clinical objectives we set for that, so we are also working to increase the number of tests that are carried out and extend categories for testing to better equip us to suppress the virus.

“Our aim is to use as much of our capacity each day as possible.”