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Two more COVID-related deaths recorded in the region – but cases are decreasing

Two more people in Perth and Kinross have died as a result of conditions linked to coronavirus – but case numbers are gradually decreasing.

The National Records of Scotland office confirmed the two residents passed away during the course of last week, making it five overall this month.

A total of 298 individuals in the region have now died from the virus since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March last year.

Despite the deaths, recent Public Health Scotland (PHS) figures show that the COVID-19 infection rate in Perth and Kinross has continued to drop during the course of November.

In the week ending Sunday, November 21, the seven day infection rate was 336.4 per 100,000 people after 511 positive cases were recorded.

The rate for the previous week was 429.2 per 100,000, with 652 positive cases recorded.

The percentage of positive tests decreased from 11.3 per cent to 8.9 per cent during this two-week period.

Eleven neighbourhoods are still recording infection rates of over 400 per 100,000 people on average – the highest category recorded by PHS.

The designated PHS area of Powmill, Cleish and Scotlandwell currently has the highest infection rate in the region at 623.3 per 100,000 people.

It is followed by Blairgowrie West (601.8), Aberuthven and Almondbank (600.5), Luncarty and Dunkeld (569.8), Viewlands, Craigie and Wellshill (553.9), Blairgowrie East (504.2), Letham (498.2), Moncreiffe and Friarton (417.8), Western Edge (of Perth) (412.3), Blair Atholl, Strathardle and Glenshee (406.0), and Kinross (400).

The Errol and Inchture area in Perth currently has the lowest infection rate over last week with three cases recorded (70.9).

The First Minister has warned people to stick with COVID guidance over the festive period – or face the introduction of further restrictions.

The cautious message was delivered by Nicola Sturgeon earlier this week as she confirmed that controversial plans to extend the use of ‘vaccine passports’ to venues such as cinemas and restaurants would not be introduced.

It follows a surge in COVID cases in Europe, with several countries re-introducing certain restrictions in an effort to clamp down on rises in case numbers.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with MSP John Swinney

At her latest statement to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon confirmed the situation in Scotland with case numbers had “stabilised” in recent days – but warned an increase in indoor mixing over the winter months would increase the risks of transmission.

She also confirmed that existing legal measures such as the requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public settings would remain in place and urged people to get vaccinated to reduce the risks over Christmas.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We all desperately want a more normal Christmas than last year.

“But we must – all of us – take sensible, proportionate measures to reduce the risk of a new year hangover of surging cases, more pressure on the NHS, and an inevitability of renewed restrictions.

The latest figures arrive as NHS Tayside was recently rated as the top performing mainland board in Scotland for COVID booster uptakes in the over-50s.

NHS Tayside associate director for public health Dr Daniel Chandler said: “Our vaccination teams have been working exceptionally hard to deliver thousands of vaccinations in community vaccination centres, hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes and patient’s homes.

“So far they have delivered more than 110,000 COVID boosters and third doses which is almost 55 per cent of over-50s and puts NHS Tayside top of all mainland boards in Scotland for this group.

“Teams have also given more than 110,000 flu jabs to eligible children and adults, and we’re on track to offer everyone who is eligible their booster and flu vaccinations by mid-December as planned.”

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