Coronavirus death toll rises above 3,000 in Scotland, data shows

More than 3,000 people in Scotland have died with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, new figures indicate.

Latest data from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) shows 3,213 deaths involving the virus had been recorded as of May 10.

The NRS statistics also show that people in Scotland’s most deprived areas are more than twice as likely to die with Covid-19 than those in the most affluent parts.

The majority of coronavirus-linked deaths across Scotland in the week to May 10 were in care homes at 57%, down from 60% the previous week.

The total death toll has fallen for the second week in a row, the NRS figures show, with 415 fatalities relating to Covid-19 registered between May 4 and May 10, a decrease of 110 from the previous week of April 27 to May 3.

For the first time, NRS has published analysis looking at the impact deprivation has on Covid-19 mortality.

It shows people living in the most deprived parts of Scotland were 2.3 times more likely to die with the virus than those living in the least deprived areas.

The age-standardised rate of deaths involving Covid-19 in the most deprived areas was 86.5 per 100,000 population, more than double (2.3 times higher) that in the least deprived areas where it was 38.2 per 100,000 population.

Separate analysis by NHS Lothian also published on Wednesday found rates of Covid-19 infection are higher in the poorest parts of Scotland, with 22.7% of cases in the most deprived areas of the country compared to 18.8% in the most affluent.

NRS analysis also found 91% of people who died with Covid-19 in April had at least one pre-existing condition, the most common being dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (31%) followed by ischaemic heart disease at 13%.

The NRS figures are published weekly and account for all fatalities registered in Scotland where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government using Health Protection Scotland (HPS) figures because they include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

The total number of deaths registered in Scotland from May 4 to 10 was 1,434 – 39% more than the average number of deaths registered in the same week over the last five years (1,034).

Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death in 96% of the excess deaths, up from 83% the previous week.

The NRS figures show 37% of registered deaths involving Covid-19 between May 4 and 10 were in hospitals, the same as the previous week, while 6% were at home or in non-institutional settings, up from 3% the week before.

Pete Whitehouse, director of statistical services at NRS, said: “These statistics, alongside the other important evidence being made available by the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland, are valuable to the understanding of the progress and impact of the Covid-19 virus across Scotland.”

Three-quarters (76%) of NRS registered deaths involving Covid-19 to date have been in people aged 75 or over.

Jim McCormick, associate director in Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “It can never be right that someone’s life chances are so profoundly affected by where they live or how much money their family has.

“It’s crucial that all aspects of the spread of this virus are carefully examined, but we know that people in areas with higher deprivation scores are less likely to have jobs where they can work from home.

“This means they may have to face a very significant drop in income or keep going to work, facing greater risks of catching virus.

“They are also more likely to live in overcrowded homes, increasing the risk for whole families. This just is not right.”

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