Perthshire Advertiser

Thirty die in less than a month

New COVID figures shock

- ROBBIE CHALMERS AND DOUGLAS DICKIE

Thirty people in Perth and Kinross have died from COVID-19 in less than a month according to new figures.

Statistics from the National Records of Scotland say eight more deaths had been recorded in the week up to Sunday, December 20.

The brings the total of number of coronaviru­s deaths in the region up to 113.

The news comes as residents in Perth and Kinross prepare to enter a near full lockdown from Boxing Day.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the return of the “stay at home” message during the week.

She also refused to rule out bringing a travel ban between local authoritie­s into law.

At her latest coronaviru­s update to parliament, Ms Sturgeon said garden centres and DIY stores would be forced to close.

The first minister announced last week that the entire Scottish mainland would go into level four of restrictio­ns in an attempt to stop a new strain of COVID-19.

But on Tuesday she told parliament the new strain is more prevalent than first thought in Scotland.

The current seven-day rate of infection is 148.7 up to December 20 - a rise from 106.6 the week before.

There were 228 cases compared with 162 the week before, while the percentage of positive tests has risen above the five per cent mark and now sits at 5.8 per cent.

It was also confirmed this week that only essential visits will be allowed at NHS Tayside hospitals from December 26 in an attempt to limit the spread of coronaviru­s and to protect vulnerable patients.

Visiting can continue in specific circumstan­ces, for example to support patients receiving end-of-life care or to support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

Pregnant women are allowed one designated visitor to accompany them to scans and antenatal appointmen­ts and to accompany them in labour.

NHS Tayside’s director of nursing and midwifery Claire Pearce said: “We understand that not being able to visit family members whilst they are in hospital over Christmas is distressin­g for many people.

“However, with the virus continuing to circulate widely in our communitie­s, it is vital that we follow Scottish Government guidance on hospital visiting and keep our patients, staff and the public safe.

“We’ll continue to offer virtual visiting for patients using telephones, tablets and laptops to allow people to keep in touch with their loved ones.”

Anyone with a question about visiting should contact the senior charge nurse in the ward to discuss their individual situation.

Patients should continue to attend hospital for outpatient clinic appointmen­ts and for planned procedures.

However, if someone has an appointmen­t at a clinic or department, they are being asked to attend it alone.

The exception to this is for children and vulnerable adults, who can be accompanie­d by one person.

 ??  ?? Green fingered The new rules will see the likes of Dobbies in Perth shut in an attempt to prevent the virus spreading
Green fingered The new rules will see the likes of Dobbies in Perth shut in an attempt to prevent the virus spreading

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