Scotland has seen a period of at least ten days this month where no new coronavirus patients were admitted to intensive care.
The number of COVID-19 cases being treated in ICU in total since the outbreak remained the same between May 3 and May 13, according to official figures.
No new cases in the specialist clinics had been reported until this afternoon (May 14), where one person is understood to have been admitted to ICU with the virus.
The figures were released in a document by Public Health Scotland which contains two reports on the pandemic.
In the health body’s first report it says “as of May 3”, 495 confirmed COVID-19 patients had been admitted to ICUs.
The second report states that the 495 figure remains unchanged “as of May 10” and no new cases were reported until today during First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s daily press briefing.
Although some patients “suspected” of having the virus were brought into intensive care during this time between the two reports being published, they subsequently tested negative.
The news comes as Scotland’s death toll surpassed 2,000 today.
A total of 2,007 patients have died, according to the Health Protection Scotland figures released today (May 14), up by 34 from 1,973 on Wednesday.
Speaking this afternoon Ms Sturgeon said 14,117 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 188 from 13,929 the day before.
There are 71 people in intensive care with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, an increase of one on Wednesday, and 1,480 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, a decrease of 54.
The decline in coronavirus cases and deaths across the country is likely to put pressure on the Scottish Government to resume NHS services.
Charities have called for an urgent plan to safely restart cancer services, and Scottish Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs said earlier this week that a strategy was needed to deal with the backlog in treatment and operations.
Since the pandemic, important medical procedures have been stopped including breast, cervical, bowel and other cancer screening programmes.
Elective surgery has also been stalled to free up space for COVID-19 patients in hospitals and Scotland’s chief medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said the country has seen a 72 per cent reduction in urgent suspected cancer referrals by doctors.
ICU peak cases
Cases in intensive care peaked in Scotland on March 29 when 28 patients diagnosed with the virus were admitted on a single day, a week after the country went into lockdown.
Since April 6, new admissions have been falling gradually with no new patients being admitted for at least ten days in May.
The groups with the highest number of admissions included those aged 60 to 69, males, and those living in socially deprived areas, according to a report done by the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group which covers a period up to May 2.
It says 72 per cent of those admitted to ICU were male and 28 per cent were female.
The document also states 72 per cent of those admissions had no pre-existing conditions. Of those who did, the most common were diabetes or respiratory disease (8.5 per cent of patients), followed by cancer (6.6 per cent), and cardiovascular disease (6.1 per cent).
People from Scotland’s poorest areas accounted for 23 per cent of ICU admissions, compared to 16 per cent from the most affluent areas.
By May 2, 159 (32.9 per cent) patients had died in ICU, 213 (44.1 per cent) patients had been discharged alive and 100 (20.7 per cent) patients were still in ICU.
While the death toll is lower than the 51 per cent death rate reported for intensive care coronavirus patients in England and Wales, it could be skewed by a smaller sample size and does not include the outcomes for those patients who remained in ICU as of May 2.