No rise in coronavirus cases in Borders for third day in row, but national death toll rises to three

No increase in coronavirus cases in the Borders has been reported for the third day in a row despite the figure for Scotland rising to almost 230 and the outbreak claiming a third fatality.

By Darin Hutson
Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 5:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 5:45 pm
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon giving a briefing in Edinburgh today. (Photo by Andy Buchanan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon giving a briefing in Edinburgh today. (Photo by Andy Buchanan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

An update issued by the Scottish Government today, March 18, reveals that 227 people this side of the border have now tested positive for Covid-19, as the illness is also known.

So far, 6,091 tests have been carried out, with 5,864 of them turning out negative.

Another fatality reported today took the death toll claimed by the disease in Scotland to three, following the announcement of the first last Friday and another on Tuesday.

Announcing the second death, Scottish chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood said: “I am very saddened to report that an elderly patient with underlying health conditions, who has tested positive for coronavirus, has died.

“They were being treated by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.

“I offer my deepest condolences to their friends and family at this difficult time.

“No further information will be available to protect patient confidentiality.”

No details of the disease’s third Scottish victim, announced at a briefing in Edinburgh today by Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon, had been released at time of going to press.

The 227 diagnoses of Covid-19 confirmed in Scotland today, up from 195 the day before, are among 1,950 UK-wide, causing 71 deaths.

The figure of seven for the Borders has remained static since going up from five on Sunday.

It is now a week since the first two cases of the illness were confirmed in the region, with that figure going up to three on Friday, five on Saturday, then the current total of seven the day after.

At her briefing today, Ms Sturgeon said: “People’s way of life will be changing dramatically, and potentially for some time to come.

“Lives are being disrupted like never before.”

That warning followed a plea earlier in the day for Scots over the age of 70 to remain at home as much as possible.

Speaking during a visit to Age Scotland’s headquarters in Edinburgh to announce £80,000 in funding to help the charity deal with up to 1,500 calls a day, Ms Sturgeon said that “very strong” guidance is “very much for the protection of older people”.

She told the Press Association: “They should be staying home as much as possible, reducing unnecessary social interaction.

“I know that’s going to be difficult, particularly for older people like my own mum and dad, who see my niece and look after my niece after school.

“To cut that kind of social interaction is going to be tough, but it is for their own protection because we know that in the elderly population, there is more vulnerability to becoming seriously ill with coronavirus and in a small number of cases – but every case matters – dying from it.

“This is very much for the protection of older people.

“These measures will reduce the risk for all of us of getting this virus, but they will also reduce the risk that if we do become infected we’re not passing it on to other people, particularly people who might be vulnerable.

“This is not the government telling you to do difficult things for the sake of it. These are not decisions we are taking lightly. This is not advice we’re giving lightly. It’s for the protection of all of us and to save lives, so my advice to people generally is to follow this guidance for good reason. Do the right thing here.”