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Covid-19 cases in Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands (MAKI) are lower than anywhere else in Argyll and Bute, according to a report for the area’s health and social care partnership (HSCP).
In the week ending Friday January 15, fewer than 20 cases were recorded per 100,000 of population in the MAKI area, while Helensburgh and Lomond had 97 cases, Bute and Cowal had 89, and Oban, Lorn and the Isles had 60.
The total number of cases recorded in Argyll and Bute during that week was 58, the same as for the previous seven days. While Oban, Lorn and the Isles saw an increase week-to-week, the other three areas all saw a slight decrease.
The report was to be discussed at a virtual meeting of the HSCP’s integration joint board (IJB) on Wednesday, alongside another report which reveals that, as of Monday January 18, there had been 1,078 positive cases in Argyll and Bute, the vast majority of which have occurred since the start of September.
The number of cases per 100,000 people in the area has, however, remained lower than in neighbouring council areas, with the exception of a period in December when there was a contained outbreak at Faslane among personnel at HM Naval Base Clyde.
Dr Nicola Schinaia, the HSCP’s associate director of public health, said: ‘Presenting confirmed cases as a rate per 100,000 people in the population allows comparison with other areas of different population size.
‘During the second wave of the pandemic, rates of cases in Argyll and Bute have been lower than in neighbouring areas, with the exception of a peak in cases at the start of December relating to a contained workplace outbreak.
‘From around December 26, cases in Scotland have increased rapidly. This may reflect increased mixing before Christmas but also the impact of the variant three of concern (VOC) with its increased transmissibility.
‘Public Health Scotland published an evidence from UK Government laboratories that 61.9 per cent of new cases in Scotland between January 10 and 11 were consistent with the new variant.’
Dr Schinaia added that, according to figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS), 87 Covid-related deaths had occurred in Argyll and Bute up to January 10, 23 of which were registered since the start of September.
He said: ‘NRS data on deaths includes both confirmed and presumed cases and is based on “usual” residents of Argyll and Bute. Usual residents can include those living outside of Argyll and Bute at the time of death if they have lived outside Argyll and Bute for less than a year.
‘Public Health Scotland reports there have been 54 deaths of Argyll and Bute residents within 28 days of a positive test, 19 of which have occurred since the start of September.’