More than half of Scots COVID-19 deaths are now in care homes

Deaths in Scottish care homes from COVID-19 now account for the majority of fatalities in the country from the virus, new figures have revealed.
Nicola Sturgeon says the situation in care homes is distressingNicola Sturgeon says the situation in care homes is distressing
Nicola Sturgeon says the situation in care homes is distressing

A total of 338 residents of care homes died in the past week alone from COVID-19 related symptoms, according to official figures. This accounts for 51.5% of Scottish Coronavirus deaths in that seven day period.

This is partly down to the fact that number of deaths in hospital is declining.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the figures were "deeply distressing."

"That demonstrates again how crucial it is to make care homes as safe as they can possibly during a pandemic of this nature," she said.

"Care homes have had strict guidelines to follow since March 13 and it is incumbent on care home providers whether they are in the public or the private sector to follow and implement that guidance."

NHS directors of public health are now playing a leading role in looking at how care homes are managing "infection control" staff training, as well as social distancing and testing, the First Minister added.

The bleak picture in Scotland's care homes in broadly in line with the picture from other countries around the world.

The statistics published by National Records of Scotland today revealed that the total number of deaths from Coronavirus in Scotland rose to 2,272 by the 26th of April. Care homes have accounted for 886 of these deaths, accounting for 39 per cent overall.

But, in the last week from April 20-26, the proportion of COVID-19 deaths in care homes rose to 51.5 per cent.

Labour Leader Richard Leonard said: “ There has been progress made in recent days on testing and PPE, but today’s awful news is the result of government failure weeks ago.

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“Both the UK and Scottish Governments have failed our care home population and have put the most vulnerable in our society and those who care for them at risk.

“Everything must now be done to rapidly expand testing and the availability of PPE: with the social care sector the top priority.”

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