Almost a third of coronavirus deaths across Tayside and Fife have occurred in care homes, newly-released figures show.
Data released by the National Records of Scotland shows that 191 deaths have occurred across the two health board areas as a result of confirmed or suspected Covid-19 as of April 19, with 58 deaths (30%) registered in care homes across both health board areas.
Tayside reported 35 deaths in care homes, with 58 in hospital and 13 in home and non-institutional settings.
The figures for Fife show 23 deaths in care homes, with 50 people dying in hospitals and 12 people dying at home or in non-institutional settings.
Across Scotland, a total of 537 deaths (33%) registered up to April 19 related to deaths in care homes, while 910 (56%) were in hospitals and 168 (10%) were at home or non-institutional settings.
This has jumped from the previous reporting period up to April 12 when 237 (25%) were in care homes.
Speaking during her daily briefing on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the figures were “higher than anyone would like to think about”, adding that older people in care homes are “particularly vulnerable” to the virus.
She revealed the Scottish Government is recruiting students who have worked in the social care sector to work in care homes as soon as possible and NHS PPE is being delivered to care homes this week, including aprons, fluid resistant surgical masks and gloves.
A total of 384 care homes across Scotland have a current outbreak, according to the latest figures released on Wednesday.
The First Minister said: “We must remember, difficult though this is, it’s not unusual for people to become sick in care homes.
“Residents are often frail and nearing the end of their lives but that does not mean we consider any of these cases to be inevitable or we don’t do everything we possibly can to prevent them.
“Older people in care homes require as much, if not more support and protection than anyone else in our society and we’re working with the care sector and partners to provide that.”
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said Covid-19 patients discharged from hospital to a care home should have given two negative tests before discharge.
In addition the Scottish Government now expects other new admissions to care homes to be tested and isolated for 14 days in addition to the clear social distancing measures set out.
The NRS figures include all cases where Covid-19 is mentioned in a person’s death certificate and are distinct from the daily figures produced by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) which have so far included only inviduals who have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
This method recorded 1,616 deaths in Scotland linked to Covid-19 as of April 19, compared to the 903 fatalities recorded by the HPS system at the time – an increase of 79%.
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