FM Nicola Sturgeon reports new figures who virus-related deaths at 4,000.

By Bill Heaney

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament today that since yesterday, an additional 12 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed through national health service laboratories, which takes the total number confirmed in that way to 15,665.

A total of 987 patients who are either suspected or confirmed as having Covid-19 are currently in hospital, which is a decrease of 24 since yesterday.

The number of confirmed cases within that has decreased by 18 since yesterday. As of last night, 18 people were in intensive care with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, which is a decrease of three since yesterday.

She added: “I am afraid that, in the past 24 hours, 12 deaths of patients who had been confirmed as having the virus have been registered. That takes the total number of deaths in Scotland under that measurement to 2,434.”

However, National Records of Scotland has just published its more detailed weekly report. Its figures report deaths where Covid has been confirmed by a lab test; it also reports on cases where the virus was entered on the death certificate as a suspected or contributory cause of death.

The latest NRS report covers the period to Sunday 7 June, which was three days ago. At that point, according to the daily figures, 2,415 deaths of people who had tested positive for the virus had been registered.

However, today’s report shows that, by Sunday 7 June, the total number of registered deaths with either a confirmed or presumed link to the virus was 4,000.

Of those deaths, 89 were registered in the seven days up to Sunday. That is a decrease of 42 from the week before.

That is the sixth week in a row in which the number of deaths from the virus has fallen, and the number of deaths is the lowest number of Covid deaths in a single week since late March.

The total number of excess deaths, which is the number above the five-year average for the same time of year, also decreased from 111 last week and from 878 in the peak week for excess deaths to just 37 in the most recent week.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Deaths in care homes made up 47 per cent of all deaths linked to the virus last week. That figure is down from 53 per cent in the previous week. The number of Covid-19 deaths in care homes also reduced again, from 69 to 42.

“All those figures—especially the total of 4,000—are far higher than any of us would wish, and I know that a downward trend in numbers does not console those who have lost loved ones to the virus. My thoughts and sympathies are with them all.

“However, as I said, the weekly number of Covid deaths has now fallen for six weeks in a row. Today’s figures are at less than a seventh of their peak level; excess deaths are at less than one twentieth of their peak level; and deaths in care homes are now also falling.

“That progress is significant, but we must take great care now to ensure that it is sustained. If it is, I hope that, next week, we will be able to announce some further, albeit careful, changes to the lockdown measures.”

Health Protection Scotland has published initial data today on the test and protect system. That data will become much more detailed in the weeks ahead. However, today’s figures show that, between 28 May, when the system was launched, and 7 June, 681 cases were reported in which the individual tested positive for Covid. Contact tracing has already been completed for 481 cases, and it will be on-going in others. In total, 741 contacts have so far been traced.

The FM added: “I remind everyone that, if they have symptoms of Covid-19, they should book a test immediately and follow the advice on self-isolation.

“We should all still be staying at home most of the time and as much as possible. Life should not feel normal at present. We must not meet more than one other household at a time or more than one a day, and we must keep to a maximum of eight people in a group.

“When we meet people from another household, we must stay outdoors and 2m apart from them. We should all wash our hands often and wear a face covering in shops or on public transport.

“Above all else, we should all remember that the decisions that we take as individuals affect the well-being of us all. I thank everybody across Scotland for continuing to do the right thing, because it is making a difference and we are all saving lives.”

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