Vale of Leven Hospital where coronavirus patients are being treated and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Pictures by Bill Heaney
By Democrat reporter
A Scottish care home where 16 residents suspected of contracting Covid-19 have died since 4 April, has confirmed four further deaths.
Berelands Care Home in Prestwick, Ayrshire, said the deaths happened on Thursday and Friday morning.
It comes as the Scottish government said efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus in care homes would be stepped up.
A quarter of deaths linked to the virus have occurred in care homes.
A spokesman for Berelands, which is owned by Priory, said it was closely monitoring the health of residents and staff, and supporting the families of those who have died, while continuing to follow official guidance.
In a statement, they said: “We are deeply saddened to confirm that four more residents have died from what we believe to be Covid-19.”
The statement added: “This is profoundly upsetting, and our deepest sympathies are with their families and friends.
“We are entirely focused on caring for, and protecting, all our residents and are extremely grateful to our dedicated staff who are doing their absolute best at this extraordinarily difficult time.”
Meanwhile, The number of people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in Scotland has risen to 893, not including those who have died in care homes, their own homes or elsewhere.
The daily update released by the Scottish government showed a rise of 56 deaths since Friday. There have been 7,820 positive tests, an increase of 411.
The number of patients in intensive care last night with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 was 182, a drop of seven since Friday. There were 1,793 patients being treated for the virus.
The figures cover patients testing positive for Covid-19 in Scotland’s hospitals including Vale of Leven Hospital, which is constantly threatened with closure or gradual rundown by the SNP government, supported by the Health Board and local member, Cllr Jonathan McColl, leader of West Dunbartonshire Council. There were 19 virus patients in the Alexandria hospital at the last count.
The actual death toll in Scotland is now likely to be well over the 1,000 mark when not only hospital deaths are taken into account.
Wider figures covering all cases where the virus is mentioned on a death certificate are issued every Wednesday.
There was no official briefing by the first minister and her pandemic response team today (Saturday), but coronavirus didn’t take the day off and the death toll continued to rise exponentially.
The UK death toll reached 15,464 today (Saturday) as 888 new deaths were reported in hospitals.
Put in perspective, that is five times the number of people who died in 30 years of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Nicola Sturgeon said in Friday’s update when, remarkably, she condescendingly said she would “treat the public as the grown-ups that you are,” that she believed the lockdown restrictions were working, resulting in a slowing of the rate of community transmission of the virus.
However, fresh concerns were raised overnight by health workers about PPE.
A snapshot survey from nursing union the RCN suggested almost half of nurses working in high risk areas who responded had been asked to reuse masks and gowns that are designed for single use.
There are also worries about new guidance for hospitals in England that PPE should be re-used if necessary.
Theresa Fyffe, director of RCN Scotland said: “For them to be safe to do their job means they can actually provide the care they want.
“Not to be safe increases anxiety for staff and increases anxiety among their families and we should remember that when nurses come out of a clinical environment, having not used the right equipment, then there is a safety issue for the community they live in and for families and that is why it is very important.”
Meanwhile, the British Medical Association (BMA) – which represents doctors – said any changes to guidance should be driven by science, not availability.
Both the Scottish and UK governments say they’re working to provide adequate levels of equipment.