Number of Covid-19 cases in Borders up to 12

The number of cases of coronavirus confirmed in the Borders has edged up by one for the fifth day in a row.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 23rd March 2020, 2:35 pm
Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, holding a briefing on the novel coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak in Edinburgh yesterday. (Photo by Andy Buchanan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, holding a briefing on the novel coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak in Edinburgh yesterday. (Photo by Andy Buchanan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

An update issued by the Scottish Government today, March 23, reveals that a dozen Borderers have now tested positive for the disease, up from 11 yesterday.

They’re among just short of 500 cases of the illness, also known as Covid-19 diagnosed in Scotland to date, up from 416 yesterday.

Across the UK, 5,863 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

The death toll claimed by Covid-19 in Scotland has gone up from 10 to 14 over the last 24 hours, and the number of fatalities attributable to the virus UK-wide now stands at 281.

Some 9,364 tests for the illness have now been carried out in Scotland, with 8,865 coming back negative.

It’s 12 days now since the first two cases of the illness were confirmed in the Borders after spreading worldwide from China, with that figure going up to three last Friday, five last Saturday, seven the day after, eight on Thursday, nine on Friday, 10 on Saturday, 11 yesterday and 12 today.

Though now into double figures, the number of cases confirmed in the Borders is well below those for neighbouring health board patches, with Dumfries and Galloway’s tally standing at 18, Lanarkshire’s at 58 and Lothian’s at 59.

Giving a briefing in Edinburgh yesterday on the spread of the disease, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “No part of Scotland will not be affected by this virus.

“No part of our country will not have people who either have it now or get it in future.

“And unfortunately no corner of Scotland is not at risk of seeing some of their residents die from it.

“However – and this is my central and most important point – if we all do the right things now, we will reduce that impact and save lives.

“If we don’t, we face many more people than would otherwise be the case becoming ill and dying, and we risk our NHS being overwhelmed.

“I’m not saying this to scare people. I am saying it to leave you in no doubt about the seriousness of the situation we face.

“And I’m saying it to stress the importance of all of us following the advice that has been issued. It is for our own protection and for the protection of those most at risk of becoming seriously ill.

“The advice should not be considered optional. It should be seen instead as a set of rules to be followed.

“To protect Scotland, we must all do the right thing.

“Life shouldn’t feel normal just now, so if your life still feels entirely normal, ask yourself if you are doing the right things or if instead you might be putting yourself and others at unnecessary risk.

“Every time you think about meeting up with or coming into physical contact with others, ask yourself if it is really necessary, and if it is not, please do not do it.

“Don’t go shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and when you do please keep a safe distance of 2m from others.

“Shops that have to remain open should be ensuring responsible social distancing.

“Don’t gather for parties at people’s houses or in groups for, I’m sorry to say, wedding receptions and other celebrations.

“When you do go outside, and of course it’s OK to be outside, don’t crowd together in the park or on the beach because that can be almost as dangerous as going to the pub.

“If you go out in the sunshine, follow the social distancing guidance. Go on your own or with one or two others in a small family group. Don’t gather together in bigger crowds.

“Beaches should not be busy. Parks should not be full.

“And if you are over 70 or in a vulnerable group – I know this is hard – but the advice to stay at home is for your own protection.

“To businesses, please follow the rules and support your employees to do so too.

“Unprecedented support is rightly being made available to you to ensure that wages can still be paid even if your employees are not at work.

“This is an extremely serious situation, but all of us have a part to play in determining just how serious it becomes.

“If we do the right things now, we can slow down the spread, reduce the peak impact and protect the ability of our National Health Service to cope, so I appeal to everyone across Scotland to do the right thing – for yourselves, for your loved ones and for your community.”