First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s report to Parliament

FM 8
Nicola Sturgeon

As at 9 o’clock this morning, there have been 12,709 positive cases confirmed, which is an increase of 272 since yesterday. A total of 1,632 patients are in hospital with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19, which is a decrease of 24 from yesterday.

Last night, a total of 89 people were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus, which is a decrease of 15 on yesterday.   In the past 24 hours, 83 deaths have been registered of patients who had been confirmed as having Covid-19, which takes the total number of deaths in Scotland under that measurement to 1,703.

The figures that I have provided are the most accurate figures that we can provide on a daily basis. They record all registered deaths where the individual had been tested and confirmed as having the virus.

However, each Wednesday, National Records of Scotland produces a more detailed weekly report that includes not just deaths of people with a confirmed diagnosis but cases in which Covid-19 is entered on a death certificate as a suspected or contributory cause of death.

The latest NRS report has just been published; it covers the period up to Sunday 3 May. According to our daily figures, 1,576 deaths had been registered of people who had tested positive.

Today’s report shows that, by Sunday, the total number of registered deaths linked to the virus, confirmed and presumed, was 2,795, 523 of which were registered in the seven days up to Sunday. That is a decrease of 135 from the week before.

It is important to note that that is the first weekly reduction in Covid-19 deaths that we have seen since the first death related to the virus was registered.

Forty-nine per cent of all registered Covid-19 deaths occurred in hospital, 43 per cent occurred in care homes and 8 per cent occurred at home or in other settings.

However, in the most recent week, 59 per cent of all deaths linked to the virus happened in care homes.

Although that is a deeply distressing figure, it is nevertheless important to note that the number of deaths in care homes also reduced last week compared with the previous week.

Finally, the total number of deaths—although still significantly higher than the five-year average—also fell, which means that the number of what we refer to as “excess deaths” was lower this past week than in the previous one.

Eighty-three per cent of excess deaths had Covid-19 as their underlying cause. Hearing reports of any number of deaths is difficult and my thoughts are, as always, with all those who have been bereaved.

I am acutely aware that trends in statistics in no way ease the pain of losing a loved one. However, in the broader fight against the virus, this week’s figures give us some hope. The number of deaths has reduced overall, as has the number of excess deaths and that of virus-related deaths, generally and in care homes.

Tomorrow, Thursday, the Scottish Government must formally consider whether to continue the current restrictions for another three-week period.

As I have indicated, our progress, although real, is still too fragile to immediately and significantly ease restrictions. We are now planning for ways in which we can gradually do so as soon as possible.

More detail on that process is set out in the paper that was published yesterday.

However, the message remains clear: people must stay at home except for essential purposes and stay more than two metres from other people when they are out; they must not meet up with people from other households; they must wear a face covering if they are in a shop or on public transport and isolate completely if someone else in their household has symptoms.

If we all stick with those restrictions for a bit longer, I am sure that we will see more progress and bring forward the moment when we can ease some of them.

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