Health officials once again advised people to remain at home in the Scottish Borders – as the area continues to see a dramatic increase in Covid-19 reported cases.
Compared with the previous week, the number of patients needing hospital admission who have tested positive for or are suspected of having Covid-19 has doubled in the past week.
NHS Borders has reported that many of these cases are a new, highly infectious strain of the virus.
The Scottish Government has previously published data showing that since March 7, 2020, there have been 2,013 reported positive Covid-19 cases in the Borders, a rise of 508 cases since Wednesday, December 30, 2020.
That means that, with 439.8 positive cases per 100,000 (over seven days), the Borders actually has one of the highest rates in Scotland – what officials have called a “very serious situation.”
Health authorities, however, have told residents that demand for health and social care services is still up and down, and have reported that three dedicated Covid wards are now open at Borders General Hospital – with the potential to open more wards if necessary.
The increase in Covid 19 cases at Borders in recent weeks is likely due in part to the spread of this new highly transmissible variant, Medical Director Dr. Lynn McCallum said. It is important to note that individuals who need to be hospitalized for covid infection frequently do not come to us until about two weeks after infection, so we expect the effect of growing case numbers to continue for w
We work hard to maintain the level of regular care, including all emergency surgeries, cancer and emergency operations. Though some of our outpatient facilities have been withdrawn to free up other wards for medical staff.
“We understand that people may be anxious when visiting healthcare facilities while Covid-19 is circulating. Robust infection prevention and control measures are in place to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible, so if you have an appointment, please go and remember to wear face coverings and walk alone unless you are unable to do so.”
“We are in lockdown across the Scottish mainland. Please follow the Scottish government’s advice and stay home. If you don’t mix with people, you can’t come into contact with the virus – it’s as simple as that. The actions we all take now will allow us to put this very challenging time behind us as quickly as possible.”
Councilor Shona Haslam, leader of the Scottish Borders Council, added: “This is a very serious situation. Here in the Borders, this new strain is on the rise and we need to stop or at least minimize contact with other people whenever possible. I know this is a troubling time for us all, but we will get through it, and by staying home as much as possible, you can help right now.”
As the number of positive cases continues to grow exponentially, this would place even more pressure on the resources of councils. Once again, I would like to thank all of our hard-working workers who continue to face many challenges, especially in health and social care.
Our Community Assistance Hubs will continue to function to mobilize help from a number of agencies and community organisations to support people in critical need. Anyone who needs assistance and support should contact their local hub on 0300 100 1800.
“Schools will also remain open to children of key workers and invited young people, and we will once again be able to use our world-leading Inspire Learning program to support online learning for our young people across the region.”
Under “greatest pressure” NHS in the border region.
Nicola Sturgeon previously said the NHS was under “greatest pressure” in the Borders region.
The First Minister added at her daily coronavirus briefing: “At this point in time, you have to give priority to limiting the spread of this virus, and if we feel as a government that we are under pressure in terms of regulations and gestures.”