Number of coronavirus cases in Borders up to 93 as disease’s death toll here rises to 11

The number of cases of coronavirus confirmed in the Borders is now nearing 100.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon making a statement on the ongoing coronavirus crisis at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood yesterday. (Photo by Fraser Bremner/Pool/Getty Images)
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon making a statement on the ongoing coronavirus crisis at the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood yesterday. (Photo by Fraser Bremner/Pool/Getty Images)

The latest daily update issued by the Scottish Government on the spread of the disease, also known as Covid-19, reveals a rise of six cases today, April 2, up from 87 to 93.

That update follows the death toll claimed by the illness in the region rising to 11, up by more than double in four days.

The first five fatalities claimed here by Covid-19 were announced on Monday, and that figure rose to seven on Tuesday, eight yesterday and 11 today.

They’re among a death toll of 126 nationwide, up 50 from yesterday’s total of 76, and 2,921 across the UK, up from 2,352.

Just over 2,600 cases of the illness have been confirmed nationwide, up from 2,310 yesterday.

Across the UK, 33,718 people have tested positive for the illness, up from 29,474 the day before.

Some 18,128 tests for coronavirus have now been carried out in Scotland, with 15,526 coming back negative.

It’s just over three weeks now since the first two cases of the illness were confirmed in the Borders on Wednesday, March 11, and a month since Scotland’s first case was announced on Sunday, March 1, after spreading worldwide from 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 last Wednesday; 23 last Thursday; 28 last Friday; 35 on Saturday; 50 on Sunday; 63 on Monday; 77 on Tuesday; 87 yesterday and 93 today.

Though rising rapidly, the number of cases of Covid-19 in the Borders is still lower than those reported in the neighbouring health board areas of Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire and Lothian, up to 104, 320 and 356 respectively.

The 2,600-plus Scots confirmed to have coronavirus are likely to be only a small fraction of the number infected, according to the country’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood.

She estimates that only one in 64 cases of Covid-19 has been detected this side of the border, and that guess, if correct, would put the likely figure for the region at almost 6,000 out of a population of about 115,000.

Speaking during a debate at Holyrood yesterday on the coronavirus crisis, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that the number of patients seriously ill with the illness being admitted to intensive care units will carry on rising for weeks to come.

Ms Sturgeon told fellow MSPs: “We are now at the stage of this epidemic, as we expected to be, when the number of cases is rising rapidly, and unfortunately that means the numbers becoming seriously unwell and dying are also sadly rising.

“Of course, we hope that the lockdown measures we are asking people to comply with will have a marked effect on the spread of the virus and that we will see a slowdown in the next few weeks.

“However, given that these measures take some time to have an impact, it is too early to draw any firm conclusions yet.”

Giving an update on the rising number of intensive care patients being treated, Ms Sturgeon said: “Unfortunately, we do expect that increase to continue for a further two or three weeks at least.”

She added: “Our current modelling of the spread of the virus, which I must stress assumes continued high compliance with the lockdown measures, together with the steps we are taking to increase capacity, suggests our intensive care units are in a much stronger position to cope with the expected peak of the epidemic.”