More than half of coronavirus deaths in Scotland last week occurred in care homes, latest figures have shown.
There have only been 11 fewer deaths in Scotland’s care homes than hospitals as a result of Covid-19 since the pandemic started, National Records of Scotland recorded.
Just under half (46%) of all deaths from the virus have occurred in care homes since the outbreak started.
More than three quarters of those who have died were over the age of 75.
Grampian has recorded 231 total deaths, 17 in the week May 18 to May 24, while Highland has recorded 107, four of which were last week. In Grampian 48% of its total deaths were recorded in care homes and 33% of those in Highland.
The Islands recorded no deaths from the virus in the same time period but overall Orkney has recorded two, Shetland seven and the Western Isles none.
In Tayside there have been 276 deaths recorded since the beginning of the outbreak, 19 of which happened between May 18 and May 24. Deaths in Tayside care homes account for 47% of the overall coronavirus deaths.
In Fife 181 have died in total from the disease, with four succumbing to the virus last week. Care home deaths have accounted for 36% of Fife’s overall deaths.
Deaths in hospital have reduced now to the levels before the coronavirus pandemic began, but deaths in care homes are still well above the five-year average.
As of Sunday, a total of 3,779 deaths in Scotland have been attributed to Covid-19.
Between May 18 and May 24, 230 people died of the virus, of the total 1,223 deaths recorded in Scotland in that time period.
There were 105 fewer deaths from the virus than the week before, but the total number of deaths recorded between May 18 and May 24 is 17% higher than the same week average over the past five years.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted older people and care home residents were at no point since the start of the outbreak “treated like second-class citizens” and said there would be a public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic that would – among other factors – examine actions conducted into the outbreak in care homes.
She added the number of total deaths, although falling in numbers compared to the week below, was still too high.
“I said before, and it remains true, that these statistical trends will never console those who have lost loved ones to this virus and my thoughts and sympathies are with each and every one of them,” she said.
“But these figures having been sustained for four weeks do definitely give us ground for encouragement.
“The weekly number of Covid deaths has fallen 60% from its peak, excess deaths have reduced by more than three quarters and deaths in care homes are also falling.
“On Thursday we will take the cautious decision whether to move cautiously from lockdown… any early steps are likely to focus on outdoor activities and we will provide full information on what individuals and businesses should and should not be doing.
“I stress that even if some restrictions are relaxed later this week it will continue to be essential to follow guidance.”
‘Every death from this virus is a tragedy’
Pete Whitehouse, director of statistical services at NRS, said: “Every death from this virus is a tragedy. These statistics, alongside the other important evidence being made available by the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland (HPS), are valuable to the understanding of the progress and impact of the Covid-19 virus across Scotland.
“These latest figures show that, for the fourth week running, there has been a reduction in Covid-19-related deaths.
“Our aim is to ensure that our statistical publication provides information that is as useful as possible and adds value to the understanding of how the virus is spreading throughout the country.
“We will continue to review and develop these statistics as new information is made available.”
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