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15 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

A quarter of coronavirus deaths in Scotland happen in care homes

By Samuel Horti

A quarter of deaths in Scotland linked to the coronavirus have occured in care homes, new figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show.

The NRS said that, in total, 962 deaths had been registered where the virus was mentioned on the death certificate. Of those, 25 per cent had occured in care homes. 

The figures are even more stark in Belgium, where 46 per cent of all coronavirus deaths have occured in nursing homes, according to the latest figures. Belgium is one of the few countries that counts non-hospitalised people displaying Covid-19 symptoms in its death tally, as opposed to people who have been confirmed as having the disease. The country has the fifth highest death toll in Europe. 

Care home providers in the UK have repeatedly insisted that coronavirus-related deaths in the sector are being under-reported. The chief executive of Four Seasons Health Care, one of Britain’s largest independent providers, told Sky News today that as many as 70 per cent of nursing homes may have cases of coronavirus infection. “The numbers are much higher than being reported at the moment,” Jeremy Richardson said. “I think the number (of carehomes having an outbreak or suspected outbreak) is probably up at 60 or 70 per cent. We’re running at a similar number, I think the numbers are substantially underestimated.”

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