THE BBC has apologised after incorrectly reporting the number of coronavirus deaths that occurred in care homes in Scotland last week.

On the 6pm BBC News bulletin last night, newsreader George Alagiah wrongly stated the number of care home residents to die in Scotland last week was 651 – more than double the actual number.

At the beginning of the programme, Alagiah was discussing new figures on deaths in care homes across the UK. There is not likely to be clear data for the current picture in England until ONS figures are published on April 28.

In England, he said, just over 1000 care home residents had died up to April 10, then five days after that the Care Quality Commission believes the number could have doubled to 2000 alone.

He went on: “The picture in Scotland is clearer, it’s been confirmed that 651 people have died in care homes last week.”

The claim was accompanied by a large graphic showing the number 651 in a bold red font.

The source cited was National Records of Scotland (NRS) data published yesterday – however those figures showed 651 people died with coronavirus between April 13-19 across Scotland as a whole, not in care homes. The NRS found 297 coronavirus deaths had occurred in care homes last week.

A BBC spokesperson said: “This is an error for which we apologise and it will be corrected in future reports.”

The SNP said they have requested a clarification from the broadcaster.

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