True Covid death figures reveal need for more support for care homes

The scale of deaths from Covid-19 revealed by NRS figures released today show the need for more support for care homes, the Scottish Greens have said.

Official daily figures have only included deaths from those who had been tested positive for the coronavirus, but the new NRS count includes those who have died with symptoms of the disease.

NRS Stats show as of 12th April 962 deaths have been registered in Scotland where COVID-19 was mentioned in the death certificate. Only 615 of those were tested, according to the Scottish Government tally.

A quarter of deaths in the NRS stats are in care homes.

Commenting, Scottish Green health spokesperson Alison Johnstone said: “The scale of Covid-19 in Scotland has clearly not been reflected in the daily figures, with a large gap between those who have been tested and the numbers of people who have died of this virus.

“Many of these are in care homes. That’s why the Scottish Government must work with the care sector to ensure urgent action is taken to prevent any further infections in care homes, including the necessary PPE for all staff at all times and more testing.

“The World Health Organisation has been very clear that testing is a vital component in tackling this pandemic. The number of tests being carried out per day in Scotland has barely changed since the beginning of the month. We recognise that increasing capacity is challenging, but it must be made an absolute priority by this Government if we’re to contain the virus, save lives and, eventually, come out of lockdown.”