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Covid-19 coronovirus toll on care home staff and residents 'deeply distressing', says First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

By Scott Maclennan

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Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said it is "deeply distressing" to see new national figures showing the wave of care home deaths continue to rise and now stands at 39 per cent of all Covid-19 fatalities.

She said Scotland owes health and social care workers an “enormous debt of gratitude” after confirming that nine staff have so far died from the virus.

The latest numbers from National Records of Scotland (NRS), which are released every Wednesday, confirm the death toll for those with confirmed or presumed Covid-19 rose above the 2000 mark and stands at 2272 – up 656 on seven days ago.

The Highland Council area saw eight more people lose their lives bringing the total to 30 while across the larger NHS Highland board area 72 people have now died, with 16 deaths in care homes, 10 at home and 46 in hospital.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Over the course of the pandemic I can sadly confirm that six members of NHS staff and five members of the social care workforce have died from the virus and my thoughts and the thoughts of all of us in the Scottish government are with their families and friends.

“It is really important for us to understand how many frontline workers lose their lives from this virus and also really important to ensure the appropriate investigation into the circumstances and of course learn any lessons that we can from those circumstances.

“I want to send my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to the virus and finally I want to thank you as I always do our health and care workers for the extraordinary work that you continue to do – the entire country owes you such an enormous debt of gratitude.

“NRS once again provides a breakdown of the figures by age, Health Board area and setting and I want to discuss in some detail what these latest figures show.

“In total 52 per cent of people whose deaths have been linked to Covid-19 died in a hospital, 39 per cent of people died in a care home and nine per cent of people died at home or in another setting.

“However, in the past week on its own more than half of all Covid-19 related deaths – 338 of the total – were in care homes and that partly reflects the fact that Covid-19 deaths in hospital do now seem to be declining.

“The proportion of deaths in Scotland, while obviously deeply distressing, is broadly in line with the proportion that is being reported now from many other countries and that demonstrates again how crucial it is to make care homes a safe as they can possibly be during a pandemic of this nature.”

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