Those Living in Poverty in Scotland Twice As Likely To Die From #Covid19

The statistics this week released by the National Records of Scotland show more detail about how inequality affects survival rates from Covid19 with people living in the most deprived areas of Scotland 2.3 times more likely to die from the virus than those in the least deprived.

Care Homes in Scotland continue to be the sector where most deaths mention Covid19 as  a contributing factor are taking place. Although there is a slight decrease it still comes in at 57% of the total number of deaths. It was 60% last week.

The number of people dying from Covid 19 has also decreased. This is not unexpected given that Scotland has been in lockdown now for 8 weeks and most people have been observing this.

Download here: covid deaths report week 19 NRS

Inequality resulting in the poverty of millions of citizens in the UK was highlighted by Professor Alston in his report to the United Nations last year. A ‘Harsh & Uncaring’ UK – The Alston Report

The austerity agenda first imposed by the LibDem/Conservative Government and followed by successive Conservative Governments has meant that families, communities, the disabled and single parents were hit the hardest. Those citizens have been living close to the edge, and often on the edge, for years. Coping with an extended lockdown and with health issues resulting from poverty and low pay means these people are really struggling to cope.

NRS Covid deaths 10th May 2020

Today, Wednesday 13th of May, people in England were encouraged to return to work even though this is only the second week where figures there have shown a decrease. The figures for England and Wales are collected in a slightly different way than in Scotland and are collated by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). They are a week behind those in Scotland.

Covid deaths England and Wales 1st May 2020 ONS

Scotland continues to follow the 4 nation strategy of the UK which saw the end of contact tracing when lockdown was instigated. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the message is still to Stay at Home.

The Scottish Government announced its Test, Trace, Isolate, Support strategy so that we can eventually ease out of lockdown. Basically we have all been doing one half of that already – the Isolate bit- and support has been there and will continue to be needed for many months – perhaps longer.

On 12th of May in Scotland 3,591 tests took place in hospitals, care homes and in the community. These were carried out by NHS Labs.

On the same day 1,517 tests were carried out by the Drive Through and mobile testing stations.

Bringing the total for that day to 5,108. This is well below the capacity of testing in Scotland for Covid19 when the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said on the 1st of May:

” capacity for testing in Scotland has now reached 8,323 and is on track to expand further this month.”

There are now NHS Labs in every Health Board area in Scotland.

There have been 3,213 deaths in Scotland (as of 10th of May) where Covid19 has been mentioned as either the main or contributing cause on the death certificate. Although these numbers are starting to decrease slightly the danger is to think Covid19 is not still a clear and present danger in our communities.

The reason for the decrease is mainly because most people have been self isolating and doing this very effectively. With so little testing and tracing taking place it is not safe to become complacent. People can be carriers of Covid19 and have no symptoms. People who are unwell and are told to isolate are not being tested so they may or may not have the virus.

The message for Scotland is still to Stay at Home. And by now your should know the rest.

Until Scotland has in place and uses an effective Test and Trace strategy we are still at the Isolate and Support stage.


For people who are interested in the statistics and comparisons or who just want more information this is an excellent site: Scotland Cornoavirus Tracker

This is also a helpful site for information: SPICe Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland – latest data

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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