NICOLA Sturgeon has pledged all efforts are being made to control Covid-19 after the deaths of more than a dozen residents in one Scottish care home were linked to the virus.

A total of 13 people at the Burlington Court care home in the east end of Glasgow have died in the past seven days, it emerged yesterday, with their families informed of a possible association with coronavirus.

It came as the number of people who have died in Scotland after contracting Covid-19 increased by 46 to reach a new total of 218.

The First Minister said her thoughts were with all the residents of Burlington Court care home and with the families of all who have died with Covid-19.

She tweeted: “We are working hard to control this virus and will offer all the support we can to this and other care homes.”

She also paid tribute to all staff in care homes saying: “They are doing a necessary but very tough job and I am so grateful to each and every one.”

All of the care home residents who died had underlying health conditions.

Two staff members at the home are in separate hospitals being treated for coronavirus after testing positive.

A spokeswoman for Four Seasons Health Care, which operates the 90-bed home, said strict protocols on infectious disease are in place and the health of residents and staff was being “closely monitored”.

She said: “Our condolences are with their families and we are providing them with our ongoing support during this difficult time. The passing of a loved one is always traumatic irrespective of the circumstances.”

The home is liaising with public health officials and the Care Inspectorate.

A Care Inspectorate spokesman said: “All of Scotland’s social care sector is working under very difficult circumstances to care for people during the pandemic and the Care Inspectorate is doing all it can to support them.”

However yesterday a care official raised concerns that new guidance on treating patients with Covid-19 will lead to decisions being made based solely on age.

Dr Donald Macaskill, head of Scottish Care, said he is “profoundly concerned” over a document issued by Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood.

He said: “We’ve got these ethical advice and support groups for our frontline clinicians but what this document does not tell us is the criteria on which these really difficult decisions are going to have to be made.

“My concern is that … rather than on a clear ethical framework, decisions will be made on a basis that is unacceptable.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “All clinical decisions should continue to be guided by the principles of GMC good medical practice and available evidence.

“There may be a small number of complex situations in which additional ethical advice or decision-making support may be useful for healthcare workers and clinical teams, as well as health boards and senior teams.”

Across the UK, the recorded death toll from the virus has risen to above 4000 – including a five-year-old child.

Seven healthcare professionals have lost their lives during the outbreak and trade union Unite said five London bus workers have also died.

The number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths in the UK is standing at 4313, but health officials said new cases appear to have stabilised in the last few days.

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