Three more coronavirus cases confirmed in Borders take regional total to 272

Another three cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Borders today, April 28, taking the total for the region past 270.

Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Some 10,721 cases of the illness have now been diagnosed nationwide, up from 10,521 yesterday.

Across the UK, 157,149 people have tested positive for the illness, up 4,310 on the day before.

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 on Tuesday, April 14; 215 on Wednesday, April 15; 220 on Thursday, April 16; 229 on Friday, April 17; 231 on Saturday, April 18; 237 on Sunday, April 19; 239 on Monday, April 20; 240 last Tuesday; 243 on Wednesday; 248 on Thursday; 253 on Friday; 258 on Saturday; 259 on Sunday; 269 yesterday; and 272 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 243, but is still well below the two others, Lanarkshire and Lothian being up to 1,297 and 1,832 respectively.

Altogether, 126 Scots are in intensive care receiving treatment for coronavirus, four of them in the Borders, with 114 having tested positive and the others awaiting results.

There has been no increase overnight in the death toll claimed by coronavirus in the Borders and it remains at 29.

It’s now almost a month since the first five fatalities in the region attributable to the disease, also known as Covid-19, 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; 26 on Monday, April 13; 27 on Thursday; 28 on Friday; and 29 yesterday.

They are among 1,332 coronavirus patients killed by the disease in Scotland so far, up from 1,262 yesterday, and 21,092 UK-wide, a rise of 360 on the day before.

Some 51,499 tests for the illness have been carried out in Scotland so far, with 40,728 returning negative results.

At a briefing in Edinburgh today, Scottish Government first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “As at 9 o’clock this morning, there have been 10,721 positive cases confirmed, an increase of 200 from yesterday.

“A total of 1,754 patients are in hospital with Covid-19. That is a decrease of eight from yesterday.

“A total of 126 people last night were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid-19. That is also a decrease of eight since yesterday.

“These figures continue to give us cause for cautious optimism.

“I am also able to confirm today the positive news that since March 5, a total of 2,448 patients who had tested positive for the virus have been able to leave hospital.

“On a much sadder note, I have to report that in the last 24 hours, 70 deaths have been registered of patients confirmed as having Covid-19. That takes the total number of deaths in Scotland, under that measurement, to 1,332.

“These numbers, as I stress every day, are not just statistics.

“Behind each of these numbers is a unique and irreplaceable individual whose loss is a source of grief to many, so, once again, I want to send my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to this virus.”

Ms Sturgeon added that Scots are now being encouraged to wear face masks while out and about but only in specific circumstances.

“The most important step we can all take to prevent transmission of the virus is to comply with the current stay at home, social distancing and hygiene rules,” she said.

“Face coverings are not a substitute for any of that.

“Guidance also makes clear that the evidence on use of face coverings is still limited.

“However, it recognises that there may be some benefit in wearing a face covering if you leave the house and enter an enclosed space where you will come into contact with multiple people and safe social distancing is difficult – for example, on public transport or in shops.

“To be clear, the benefit comes mainly in cases where someone has the virus but isn’t aware of that because they are not experiencing symptoms and therefore not isolating completely, so wearing a face covering in these circumstances may reduce the chance of that person transmitting the virus to others.

“The Scottish Government is now recommending the use of face coverings in these limited circumstances as a precautionary measure.

“Given that the evidence is relatively weak, we are not at this stage making this mandatory or suggesting that it will be enforced, though we will keep that under review as we go into future phases of managing and tackling the pandemic.

“However, to repeat, we are recommending that you do wear a cloth face if you are in an enclosed space with others where social distancing is difficult – for example, on public transport or in a shop.

“Let me emphasise the key point here, which is that you should not really be in situations very often like that right now if you are complying with the stay at home rules.

“There is no evidence at this stage to suggest that there are benefits to wearing a face covering outside except in unavoidably crowded situations.

“The wearing of facial coverings is an extra precaution that you can and, we are suggesting, you should take.

“It may do some good in some limited circumstances.

“It is not – and must not be seen as – a substitute for the other rules and guidelines that we have been stressing.”