Despite welcoming news over the weekend of no newly reported Covid-19 deaths in Scotland for 4 consecutive days, Scotland now has the third-highest proportion of reported Covid-19 deaths in the world.
Unfortunately, 4,119 people are confirmed or suspected to have died from Covid-19 in Scotland as of 21 June. This represents 749 deaths per 1 million people in Scotland, which is over 100 more deaths per 1 million people when compared to the UK-wide figure.
The proportion of Covid-19 deaths in Scotland is over one-and-a-half times that of Wales and over two-and-a-half times that of Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister has hinted at a public inquiry into the UK's response to the Coronavirus pandemic, stating: "I know that there are plenty of things that people say and will say that we got wrong. And we owe that discussion and that honesty to the tens of thousands who have died before their time and to the families who have lost loved ones. And of course there must be time to learn the lessons, and we will."
The UK currently has the 15th highest Covid-19 testing rate in the world with nearly 140,000 for every 1 million people tested for the virus. Scotland's testing rate is currently three times lower, with 47,333 for every 1 million people tested. This ranks 56th in the world, below that of Azerbaijan, Peru, and Kazakhstan.
Scotland's high proportion of Covid-19 deaths compared to elsewhere in the world can be attributed to the ongoing lack of Covid-19 testing in Scotland. In particular, a worrying lack of testing in Scottish care homes which has been a source of concern for many months. In South Ayrshire, 168 patients were discharged from hospital into local care homes without being tested for the Coronavirus. Of those which were tested, 10% tested positive for the virus.
We believe that a significant scaling up of Covid-19 testing is needed in Scotland. We would also like to see the Scottish Government held accountable for its response to the Coronavirus pandemic alongside politicians throughout the UK.
Below is a table comparing reported Covid-19 deaths by country as of 21 June 2020 (please note that countries collect data differently, making comparisons between them very limited):
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- BBC (Northern Ireland Department of Health figures): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-53171714
- Scottish Government: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Public Health Wales: https://public.tableau.com/profile/public.health.wales.health.protection#!/vizhome/RapidCOVID-19virology-Public/Headlinesummary
- Worldometer (21 June 2020): https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries