Coronavirus fatalities in Borders up one to 35

The death toll claimed in the region by coronavirus is now up to 35, an increase of one on last week.
Nicola Sturgeon giving a coronavirus outbreak update today in Edinburgh.Nicola Sturgeon giving a coronavirus outbreak update today in Edinburgh.
Nicola Sturgeon giving a coronavirus outbreak update today in Edinburgh.

Figures issued by the National Records of Scotland last Wednesday, taking into account all fatalities attributed to coronavirus and not just among those previously tested and found to be infected, put the death toll for the region at 54 as of a week ago on Sunday, however – 22 higher than the Scottish Government figure of 32 at that time.

It’s now been over a month and a half since the first five fatalities among Covid-19 patients here were announced on Monday, March 30.

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That figure, going by Scottish Government calculations, 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, April 23; 28 on Friday, April 24; 29 on Monday, April 27; 30 on Wednesday, April 29; 31 on Thursday, April 30; 32 on Tuesday, May 12; 34 on Tuesday, May 19; and 35 today, May 26.

They are among 2,291 coronavirus patients killed by the disease in Scotland so far, up from 2,273 overnight, and 37,048 UK-wide, a rise of 134 on the day before.

Another case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the Borders today, taking the total for the region to 323.

That ends a five-day run without any new cases of the disease, also known as Covid-19, being reported here.

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That was the longest that had gone by without any new cases since the region’s first diagnoses were confirmed on Wednesday, March 11.

The 323 cases confirmed here are among 15,185 nationwide, up from 15,156 yesterday.

Across the UK, 265,227 people have tested positive for the disease, up 2,004 on the day before.

It’s now getting on for three months since Scotland’s first case, in Tayside, was announced on Sunday, March 1, after spreading across the world from Wuhan in China.

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Altogether, 28 Scots are in intensive care receiving treatment for coronavirus, along with another eight suspected to be infected but awaiting test results.

Hospitals in the region are currently treating nine patients confirmed to have Covid-19, along with a further 20 suspected sufferers.

Almost 105,000 tests for the illness have been carried out in Scotland so far, with 89,695 returning negative results.

Giving an update in Edinburgh today on the outbreak, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “There have been 15,185 positive cases confirmed, an increase of 29 from yesterday.

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“A total of 1,200 patients are in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. That represents a total decrease of 69 from yesterday, including a decrease of 16 in the number of confirmed cases.

“A total of 36 people last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid 19. That is a decrease of four since yesterday.

“Unfortunately, in the last 24 hours, 18 deaths have been registered of patients confirmed through a test as having Covid-19. That takes the total number of deaths in Scotland, under that measurement, to 2,291.

“Each one is an individual whose loss is a source of grief to many. I want to send my condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to this virus.”

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She also announced the launch of NHS Scotland’s test, trace and isolate programme, called Test and Protect, this Thursday, May 28.

“From the end of this week, through Test and Protect, anyone who suspects they have Covid-19 will be tested,” said Ms Sturgeon.

“If you test positive, your close contacts will be traced and advised to isolate for 14 days.

“The aim of Test and Protect is to quickly identify cases of the virus and then act to break the chains of transmission.

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“I can confirm today that the system will go live in every one of Scotland’s 14 health board areas on Thursday.

“Test and Protect will be an important tool in the months ahead. It will help us suppress the virus while we slowly ease lockdown restrictions, but it will only be effective if we all play our part.

“To launch Test and Protect nationally, we need the ability to conduct over 15,000 tests a day. I can confirm today that this capacity is now in place.

“It will be delivered through a combination of NHS labs, academic partners, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and the Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow.

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“This is a system that will operate at a scale not seen before in Scotland. Over the first couple of weeks, it will need to bed down, but introducing it at the same time as we take the first cautious steps out of lockdown gives us the opportunity to address any operational issues ahead of a potentially more substantial easing of restrictions at the next review date in three weeks.

“We will also continue to build testing capacity and make access to testing more locally accessible. We will keep you updated on all of that.

“Let me stress that, just like lockdown, this is something that will only have the desired effect if we all do what is required. It can’t be seen as optional.

“Test and Protect is an important tool for us in the period ahead. The more effective it is the more of the lockdown restrictions we will be able to lift.

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“However, it can’t do all the work of suppressing the virus.

“We will all continue to have a vital role to play in our everyday lives. That means even as we ease lockdown, physical distancing, good hygiene and following appropriate advice will continue to be essential, and so too will all of us doing what is asked of us.

“Test and Protect will only work if we all come forward for testing when we have symptoms and if we all agree to self-isolate when asked, and if the government steps up to give you the support you need to do so.

“In short, Test and Protect will require exactly the same spirit of solidarity and care for each other as lockdown has done.

“It will be a collective national endeavour.

“All of us will have to agree to make sacrifices for the common good, just as we have been doing.”