Coronavirus claims another life in Borders, taking death toll to 29
Another coronavirus sufferer in the Borders has been killed by the disease, taking its death toll here to just short of 30.
That’s the third death in five days attributable to the disease after a nine-day spell without fatalities.
That was the longest the number of deaths caused by Covid-19, as the illness is also known, had remained static since its first five fatalities in the Borders 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 on Thursday; 28 on Friday; and 29 today, April 27.
They are among 1,262 coronavirus patients killed by the disease in Scotland so far, up from 1,249 yesterday, and 20,732 UK-wide, a rise of 413 on the day before.
Another 10 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Borders today, taking the total for the region to just short of 270.
That’s the first double-figure increase in cases in the region for over two weeks.
Some 10,521 cases of the illness have now been diagnosed nationwide, up from 10,324 yesterday.
Across the UK 152,840 people have tested positive for the illness, up 4,463 on the day before.
It’s well over a month now since the first two cases of the illness were confirmed in the Borders on Wednesday, March 11, and nearing 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 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 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 last Monday; 240 on Tuesday; 243 on Wednesday; 248 on Thursday; 253 on Friday; 258 on Saturday; 259 yesterday; and 269 today.
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 243, but is still well below the two others, Lanarkshire and Lothian being up to 1,265 and 1,804 respectively.
Altogether, 134 Scots are in intensive care receiving treatment for coronavirus, four of them in the Borders, with 121 having tested positive and the others awaiting results.
Some 50,294 tests for the illness have been carried out in Scotland so far, with 39,773 returning negative results.
At a briefing in Edinburgh today, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “A total of 1,762 patients are currently in hospital with either confirmed or suspected Covid-19, an increase of 27 from yesterday.
“A total of 134 people last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, an increase of one since yesterday.
“Despite these occasional fluctuations, overall these statistics for hospital and intensive care admissions still give us cause for cautious optimism.
“I am also able to confirm today that since March 5, a total of 2,380 patients who had tested positive for the virus have been now able to leave hospital, and I wish them well.
“On a much sadder note, I have to report that in the last 24 hours, 13 deaths have been registered of patients who had been confirmed through a test as having the virus, and that takes the total number of deaths in Scotland, under that measurement, to 1,262.
“Once again, I want to stress and indeed reflect on the fact that the numbers I read out here every day are not just statistics.
“They are individuals whose loss is a source of grief and distress to family and friends, so once again, I want to send my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to this virus.
“I know that it might not feel this way, since the numbers that I am reporting each day, particularly those on the number of people who are dying, are always far higher than we want them to be, but it is nevertheless the case that we are now seeing some real signs of progress.
“The number of people in intensive care has fallen by around a third in the last fortnight.
“The number of people in hospital, which was rising sharply in the first 10 days of this month, has also now broadly stabilised and the trend there may also now be a downward one.
“Our NHS, while working incredibly hard and in the most difficult of circumstances, has not been overwhelmed, and just a few weeks ago we really feared that it might be.
“Of course, we are not yet seeing a definite fall in the number of people dying each day from the virus.
“Because of the way the illness progresses, that will be the last daily number that we do start to see declining, and we hope to see that in the next couple of weeks, but we do have evidence that the actions that all of us are taking are making a real and a positive difference.
“However, and I realise that this is a less welcome and much more difficult point for me to make, this progress remains very fragile, and now is a time for all of us to exercise careful caution. It is certainly not a time to throw caution to the wind.
“The margins we think we are working within are very narrow.
“At this stage, even a slight easing-up in the restrictions in place now could send the reproduction rate back and the virus would then start to spread very quickly again.
“Within days of that, all the indicators that are suggesting progress now would start to go in the wrong direction again.
“That would mean more cases, more hospital and intensive care admissions and, sadly, more deaths, so for all our sakes, and to protect the progress that together we’ve made, all of the restrictions currently in place need to remain in place for now.
“The job is not done yet. We need you to stay the course for a bit longer.
“We are now thinking about the ways in which we can begin to ease the lockdown a bit when it is safer to do so, although we can’t yet put dates on any of that.”