THROUGHOUT the UK, the impact of Covid-19 on the residents and staff in care homes has been catastrophic. Whatever errors may or may not have occurred, particularly in the early days of our experience of the pandemic in Scotland, we must surely be trying now to ensure that everything is done to minimise the future toll of our older citizens within these institutions.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon rejects claims about Scotland's care home death toll

I hope that clinical advice will now be recommending that all staff in care homes are regularly tested. This should occur irrespective of whether the virus is known to exist in any particular home. It would surely be tragic if any home currently without the virus (and I believe about 50% of homes may be in this category) succumbs in the future because the very people who want to protect those in their care bring it in.

Of course, test results are not 100% reliable. But given how rapidly this virus can spread, if just one “carrier” can be screened out, that would be a worthwhile outcome.
This begs the question, whether there is sufficient capacity to undertake such a testing regime, given the imminent requirement to be carrying out surveillance community testing as part of test, trace, isolate, support. To my mind, government has no option but to meet that challenge.

Roddie Macpherson

WE are told that more than half of deaths in Scotland due to coronavirus have occurred in care homes. I have heard of two care homes run by the local council where no deaths are said to have occurred due to the virus. Of the total number of deaths in Scottish care homes, is it known what proportions relate to the private and public sectors? If one is significantly higher than the other, can this be explained?

Dennis White