No rise in coronavirus fatalities in Borders for nine days as first minister tells of cautious optimism

There has been no increase in the number of fatalities claimed by coronavirus in the Borders for nine days.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 7:06 pm
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon giving an update on coronavirus statistics today in Edinburgh.

Figures issued by NHS Borders today, April 22, reveal that the death toll among those to have tested positive for the disease here remains at 26 for the ninth day in a row.

That’s the longest the number of deaths caused by Covid-19, as the disease is also known, has 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; and 26 a week ago on Monday, April 13.

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They’re among a death toll of 1,062 nationwide, up 77 from 985 overnight, and 17,337 across the UK, up 823 on the day before.

Other figures published by the National Records of Scotland taking into account all fatalities attributed to coronavirus on death certificates rather than just among those confirmed to have the disease put the mortality count for the Borders at 38 and for the country as a whole at 1,616, as of Sunday, however.

The regional figure is up from 30 the Sunday before, but it sees the Borders fall from second to third place nationwide for number of Covid-19 deaths proportionately.

The number of deaths here per 10,000 head of population has risen to 3.3 from 2.6, but neighbouring Lanarkshire is now in second place, with 3.5, behind Glasgow and Greater Clyde’s 4.4, up from 2.7.

Three further cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Borders today, taking the total for the region to 243, it was revealed in a daily update given by Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Some 9,038 cases of the illness have now been diagnosed nationwide, up 366 from 8,672 yesterday.

Across the UK, 129,044 people have tested positive for the illness, up 4,301 on the day before.

Some 43,309 tests for coronavirus have been carried out in Scotland so far, with 34,271 returning negative results.

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 last Tuesday; 215 on Wednesday; 220 on Thursday; 229 on Friday; 231 on Saturday; 237 on Sunday; 239 on Monday; 240 yesterday; and 243 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 235, but is still well below the two others, Lanarkshire and Lothian being up to 1,118 and 1,515 respectively.

Altogether, 155 Scots, seven of them in the Borders, are in intensive care receiving treatment for coronavirus, as of last night, with 147 having tested positive and the others awaiting results.

Giving an update in Edinburgh today, Ms Sturgeon said: “A total of 1,776 patients are currently in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. That is a decrease of 90 from yesterday.

“And a total of 155 people last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus. That is a decrease of 11 on yesterday.

“Let me again say that these figures for hospital admissions and admissions to intensive care are really encouraging and they are a cause for optimism, still cautious optimism, but optimism nevertheless.

“Since March 5, a total of 1,813 patients who had tested positive for the virus have been able to leave hospital, and I wish all of them well.

“On a much sadder note, though, I also have to report today that in the last 24 hours, 77 deaths have been registered of patients who had been confirmed positive through a test as having Covid-19. That takes the total number of deaths in Scotland as of this morning, under that measurement, to 1,062.

“I focus on the statistics in these updates because they are important, but I want to emphasise again that these deaths are not just statistics.

“They were all people who were loved and cherished and who, for their family and friends, are irreplaceable. We should never forget that, just as we shouldn’t forget those left behind, grieving for their lost loved ones.

“My condolences are with all of them.

“The final point I want to acknowledge is that listening to numbers like this is really horrible – reporting these numbers is really horrible, certainly the most difficult experience I’ve had as first minister – and I know listening to this might leave you with a feeling of powerlessness as well as an acute and deep feeling of sadness.

“But I want to stress again that none of us is powerless. We all have some power against this virus. By following the rules, by staying home and by self-isolating when we have symptoms, we are all making a difference.

“I know it’s hard to see progress when the numbers of deaths that we are reporting are so grim, but the other statistics I’m reporting on daily right now, particularly on hospital and intensive care admissions, do show that we are making progress.

“They are a source of optimism, and soon I hope a fall in the numbers of people dying will show that progress too.

“By complying with the lockdown, we are protecting ourselves and others, and we are saving lives, but even a very small easing-up in that right now could send all of that progress very quickly into reverse.”