Covid in Scotland: More than 120 care homes dealing with outbreak of deadly virus

By Peter Davidson

More than 120 care homes across Scotland are currently dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf revealed that because of the high level of community transmission it has spread into the care sector over the last number of weeks.

Cases of the deadly virus have surged since Scotland removed the majority of lockdown restrictions just under a month ago on August 9.

During a session of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee the SNP minister said the situation was being monitored carefully.

The latest weekly figures, up to August 29, showed that 48 people died from covid in Scotland. 36 deaths were in hospitals, seven were in care homes, and five were at home or in a non-institutional setting.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf spoke about care homes at committee (PA)

Yousaf said: "The circumstances that we find ourself in at the moment that high levels of community transmission are having an impact on our care sector.

"At last count I saw yesterday that over 120 care homes have an outbreak of covid.

"That's not an insignificant number, and therefore difficult decisions that have to be made, but I can promise you that myself and my colleague, Kevin Stewart, we're looking at this on a daily basis, to try to ensure that the rights of care home relatives are paramount."

During the first wave of the pandemic Scotland's care homes were hit hard by the spread of the virus.

Just before retiring as Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said "mistakes" were made in the sector.

She said: "I think our failures were not understanding the social care sector well enough. So we didn't respond quickly enough to what was needed in our care homes, but also in social care in the community."

"Remember, the early predictions about the number of people going into hospital were terrifying actually.

"But we didn't take the right precautions to make sure that older people leaving hospital going into care homes were as safe as they could be and that was a mistake.

"Now, I might argue we couldn't do anything other than we did and all the rest of it. But it still created a real problem for those older people and for the others who lived in care homes and for the staff who worked in care homes."

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