Covid-19 cases in Borders up by 31 over last week after biggest daily rise since early April

Coronavirus cases in the Borders have shot up by more than 30 over the last week.

By Darin Hutson
Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 5:55 pm
First minister Nicola Sturgeon at today's Scottish Government Covid-19 update.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon at today's Scottish Government Covid-19 update.

It has not been disclosed if any of the 31 new cases announced since last Thursday, September 10, are in Hawick, adding to the 23 infections confirmed there at that point.

Health chiefs say the upsurge in cases first reported in the town on Tuesday, August 25, is now under control, however, NHS Borders medical director Lynn McCallum having revealed yesterday, September 15, that it is no longer being classed as an active outbreak.

Four new cases in the Borders were announced today, September 16, taking the cumulative total for the region since the virus, also known as Covid-19, arrived here in March to 424.

That figure of 424 is up by 74 over the last month.

The running total of cases here stood at 350 from August 13 to August 21, but that latter date marked the end of a nine-day run without any further diagnoses of Covid-19, and daily rises of up to 12 have been reported since then.

It’s now been almost four weeks since a day went by without any new cases.

Last week alone saw 29 new cases confirmed here, up from 384 on Monday, September 7, to 413 on Sunday, September 13, with a further 11 following since.

Sunday’s rise of a dozen cases, from 401 to 413, was the biggest jump overnight reported here – excluding a rise of 18 from 327 to 345 on June 15 attributable to figures from UK Government mobile testing units, regional testing centres and home self-testing kits being added to NHS Scotland laboratory results – since one of 30, from 110 to 130, on April 5.

The virus has also added one further fatality to the death toll it’s claimed here.

According to figures issued by the National Records of Scotland today, the number of fatalities linked to the disease is up one to 75, as of Sunday, after remaining static at 74 since Sunday, July 12.

Those fatalities, taking into account all deaths linked to coronavirus, not just among those previously tested and found to be infected, are among 4,236 nationwide measured by those criteria.

Nationwide, 23,283 people have tested positive for the disease, up 267 overnight.

It’s now well over six months since Scotland’s first official diagnosis of the disease was announced on Sunday, March 1, after spreading across the world from China, with the first two cases in the Borders following on Wednesday, March 11.

Giving a briefing on the outbreak today in Edinburgh, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Today’s National Records of Scotland update shows that, by Sunday, the total number of registered deaths with either a confirmed or a presumed link to Covid was 4,236.

“Five of those were registered in the previous week. That is three more than in the week before.

“Three of the deaths were in hospital and two were in care homes.

“These figures, of course, remind us again of the dreadful impact this virus has had and, indeed, continues to have.

“Every death from Covid represents the loss of someone that many people across the country loved, so my condolences again go out to everybody who has suffered a loss as a result of this virus.

“It’s also important to point out that while the number of deaths now is much lower thankfully than in the spring and early summer, the need for me to report deaths is a more regular feature of these briefings now than it has been for some time.

“This is another reminder that cases are rising and we cannot afford to be complacent about that.

“Unless we act to stem community transmission now, it is highly likely that cases of serious illness and deaths will rise in the weeks to come.

“It may take some time for that to happen given the incubation period and the course we know the virus takes and, of course, we hope it won’t be to anywhere near the same extent that we saw earlier in the year, but if community transmission continues to rise, as night follows day, we will see more cases of people in hospital and, unfortunately, more cases of people dying.

“That trend is already visible in some other countries that saw this rise in cases happen again earlier than we did – for example, France is seeing that increase in hospital cases and deaths now too.

“The reason I am saying this is simple – it’s to really underline how important it is that we do act now, all of us, to limit our interactions as much as possible and stop the virus spreading.

“The actions we take right now to follow the advice could well be stopping somebody becoming seriously ill and dying later on, so in doing all of this, it is still all about saving lives, so please keep to the new rules on gatherings.

“No more than six people should meet up together, indoors or outdoors, and those six people can come from no more than two households.

“This virus wants to infect new people, and once it gets into a household through one person, we know that there is a high probability everybody in that house could get infected, so the limit on households is really important, just as the overall limit on people is important.

“What we do as individuals helps save lives, and we should remember that right now.”