No overnight increase in coronavirus cases in Borders for third day in a row for first time since mid-March

Nicola Sturgeon at May 22's Covid-19 update.Nicola Sturgeon at May 22's Covid-19 update.
Nicola Sturgeon at May 22's Covid-19 update.
No rise in coronavirus cases has been reported in the Borders today, May 23, for the third day in a row, leaving the total for the region at 322.

That’s the first time three days have gone by without any additional cases of the disease being reported here for over two months.

The last time that happened was from Monday to Wednesday, March 16 to 18.

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The 322 cases confirmed here are among 15,041 nationwide, up from 14,969 yesterday.

Across the UK, 254,195 people have tested positive for the disease, up 3,287 on the day before.

It’s well over two months since the first two cases of Covid-19, as the illness is also known, were confirmed in the Borders on Wednesday, March 11, and 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.

The death toll claimed in the region by coronavirus stands at 34, as of Tuesday, up two on the week before.

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Figures issued by the National Records of Scotland on Wednesday, taking into account all deaths 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 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.

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; and 34 on Tuesday, May 19.

They are among 2,261 coronavirus patients killed by the disease in Scotland so far, up from 2,245 overnight, and 36,393 UK-wide, a rise of 351 on the day before.

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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 257, but is still well below the two others, Lanarkshire and Lothian being up to 1,922 and 2,649 respectively.

Altogether, 36 Scots are in intensive care receiving treatment for coronavirus, along with another 14 suspected to be infected but awaiting test results.

Hospitals in the region are currently treating 11 patients confirmed to have Covid-19.

Almost 100,000 tests for the illness have been carried out in Scotland so far, with 84,891 returning negative results.

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Giving an update in Edinburgh yesterday on the outbreak, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots to stay at home over this bank holiday weekend, reminding them that the plans to relax lockdown rules she announced the day before don’t apply yet.

“None of the changes are yet in place,” she said.

“During this bank holiday weekend and into next week, the current lockdown restrictions are still in place.

“That’s important for me to stress. The one thing that will slow down the lifting of lockdown is us taking our foot off the brake too quickly and allowing the virus to spread rapidly again.

“However, on a more optimistic note, as things stand, we intend to enter the first phase of easing restrictions, from next Thursday, May 28, now less than one week away.

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“By then, I hope we will still be seeing progress against the virus, but also by then we will also be ready to start with our test, trace and isolate programme, a key tool for us in continuing to keep the virus suppressed as we start gradually easing these restrictions.”

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