Number of Covid-19 cases confirmed in Borders hits 100 as death toll goes up to 14

The number of cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the Borders is now into three figures.

By Darin Hutson
Friday, 3rd April 2020, 2:56 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 3:02 pm
Scotland's chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/WPA pool/Getty Images)
Scotland's chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/WPA pool/Getty Images)

The latest daily update issued by the Scottish Government on the spread of coronavirus through the country reveals a rise of seven cases today, April 3, taking the total for the region from 93 to 100.

The death toll claimed by the illness in the region is up to 14, having almost trebled in five days.

The first five fatalities claimed here by Covid-19 were announced on Monday, and that figure rose to seven on Tuesday, eight on Wednesday, 11 yesterday and 14 today.

They’re among a death toll of 172 nationwide, up almost 50 from yesterday’s total of 126, and 3,605 across the UK, up from 2,921.

Just over 3,000 cases of the illness have been confirmed nationwide, up almost 400 overnight.

Across the UK, 38,168 people have tested positive for the illness, up from 33,718 the day before.

Some 19,535 tests for coronavirus have now been carried out in Scotland, with 16,534 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 just gone 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 on Wednesday; 93 yesterday; and 100 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 122, 377 and 408 respectively.

The 3,000-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 about 6,400 out of a population of 115,000 or so.

Giving a briefing today, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that the current coronavirus outbreak is still some way off hitting its peak.

“I want to be very clear that nothing I have seen gives me any basis whatsoever for predicting the virus will peak as early as a week’s time here in Scotland,” she said.

Dr Calderwood agreed, saying: “I have not been able to find that the peak will be as soon as we’re hearing in the media today.

“Now is not the time to think that perhaps it will all be over soon.

“We have always said that many months will be needed before we can get on top of this virus and be sure that we’re not going to have a worse scenario later.

“At the moment, we are able to give a clear date of when the peak will be.

“What we will look for first is a slowing of the rate of people testing positive, and we are not seeing that yet.”

It looks likely that the present lockdown will need to remain in force for some time yet, she said, explaining: “What we are already seeing in some countries across the world is that when measures are lifted, the cases jump up almost immediately.

“I would not be thinking that summer holidays are likely to be as they were in the past, but we really don’t know.”