The message to the citizens of Scotland today, 22nd of April, is to continue to stay at home except for essential supplies of food and medicine and to observe social distancing.
This comes as the weekly – more accurate – data from the National Records of Scotland is published and which shows that as of the 19th of April there were 1,616 deaths where Covid19 was a factor. This is an increase of 610 on the previous week. Contact Tracing – Cutting the Engine of the Pandemic
If you are having any doubts about the seriousness of the virus, NRS stats show that this is an 80% increase on deaths during this same week in previous years.
The number of deaths in our care homes continues to be at a shocking level accounting for over a third of all those related to Covid19
As the number of deaths and residents of care homes in Scotland with Covid19 continues to rise, family members unable to visit due to the restrictions are finding the situation hard to cope with. They are advised to contact the care home with any concerns they have.
England and Wales
The statistics for England and Wales are lagging behind the ones in Scotland with the Office for National Statistics reporting that up to the 10th of April there were 10,350 deaths registered in England and Wales involving COVID-19. The number of deaths due to Covid19 in England and Wales in care homes had doubled.
In London, over half, 53.2% of deaths registered for that period involved COVID-19; the West Midlands also had a high proportion of COVID-19 deaths, accounting for 37.0% of deaths registered.
Actual UK Death Figures Due to Covid 19
The Financial Times, however, has reported that the UK deaths due to Covid 19 are more than double the official figures being published by the UK Government. Looking at data from ONS at all deaths the FT reports that there have been 41,000 deaths due to Covid19 and not the 17,337 stated by UK Government Ministers. the discrepancy occurs because of the number of deaths outside of the numbers recorded in hospitals.
Last week in The Orkney News we discussed the huge difference in the number of recorded Covid19 deaths in New Zealand, a country not much smaller than Scotland but which has been following a strategy of contact tracing, testing and isolation. The number of deaths in New Zealand as of 22nd of April is 14, with 11 people in hospital.
New Zealand’s strategy of contact tracing and testing has so far seen 94,797 tests being done. For Scotland the number tested is 43,309.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health provides lots of accessible and easy to read information which you can check out here: Covid19 current cases
Deaths of Health and Social Care Workers
In the UK Nursing Notes is tracking the number of health and social care workers who have died from Covid19. As of 22nd of April this amounted to a shocking 111.
On Tuesday April 28th, Workers Memorial Day, trade unions have called for a minute’s silence to remember those frontline workers who have died as a result of their exposure to Covid19.
Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary said:
“We’ve become used to hearing a great roar on a Thursday night for key workers, but this respectful silence will be a poignant reminder of the risks they run to keep us safe. I hope the public gets behind this with the same affection they show when applauding our people.
“The silence is a simple show of respect for those who have paid the very highest price, but their loved ones must know the levels of gratitude we feel as a nation and take some comfort from that.”
How governments across the world have responded to Covid19 has shown marked differences. Scotland, along with the other parts of the UK, is following the 4 nation strategy.
Deaths UK:43,309 – Scotland: 1,616 – New Zealand: 14
All we can do as ordinary citizens is to continue to observe the travel restrictions and social distancing advice. But we should never forget how our governments across the UK have managed the pandemic because once we come out of this there needs to be a reckoning. So many preventable deaths cannot go without politicians being held to account for their decision making and the years of underfunding of our health and social care system.
In tomorrow’s Orkney News we will explore how Covid19 has affected the delivery of cancer care in the NHS.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame