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'Grounds for encouragement' in continuing fall in rate of Covid-19 coronavirus deaths in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says


By Scott Maclennan

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions held at the Scottish Parliament. Photo credit should read: Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA Wire.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during First Minister's Questions held at the Scottish Parliament. Photo credit should read: Fraser Bremner/Scottish Daily Mail/PA Wire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the declining rate of deaths from coronavirus offers “grounds for encouragement”.

The latest National Records for Scotland (NRS) data issued this afternoon records a fall in the weekly number of deaths for a third week in a row.

In the Highland Council area 14 people have died from Covid-19 in the last three weeks – but in the three weeks preceding that 23 people died.

Ms Sturgeon noted also that both the number of 'excess deaths' – the average number of people dying five years ago compared to now, not related to Covid-19 – as well as deaths in care homes had declined.

At First Minister's Questions today she said: “The latest NRS report covers the period up to Sunday May 17, three days ago, and I would remind members that at that point according to our daily figures 2105 deaths had been registered of people who have tested positive for the virus.

“However today’s report shows that by Sunday the total number of registered deaths linked to Covid-19, confirmed and presumed, was 3546. 332 of these deaths were registered in seven days up until Sunday – that is a decrease of 83 from the week before. Indeed this is the third week in a row in which deaths have fallen.

“Deaths in care homes made up 55 per cent of all deaths linked to the virus last week, which is down from 57 per cent in the previous week and the number of deaths in care homes from Covid-19 also reduced again, however, as all of us will agree, that figure remains too high."

After suggestions that minority ethnic populations could be more susceptible to Covid-19 than white people she said that, while current data is "limited" and further analysis was being undertaken, there did not appear to be a higher level of cases among black, Asian and other ethic minorities in Scotland.

“The trends we are seeing do matter and they offer grounds for encouragement," she said.

The First Minister is due to unveil a "road map" outlining steps towards easing the lockdown tomorrow.

Related article: Covid-19 death toll in the NHS Highland area now stands at 103


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