Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has raised serious concerns that West Dunbartonshire has the second worst Covid-19 deaths per head of the population, coming second only to Inverclyde.
Combining figures of Covid-19 deaths released by the National Records of Scotland with the population of local authorities, as of 26 April, West Dunbartonshire had 7.85 Covid-19 deaths per 10,000 people. This is compared to Glasgow’s 5.87 and Edinburgh’s 4.19 deaths per 10,000 people.
Jackie Baillie has continuously raised concerns regarding the extent to which Covid-19 has affected West Dunbartonshire. She has called on the Scottish Government to better protect key workers in the constituency and has repeatedly raised the particular issue of Covid-19 deaths in Dumbarton care homes.
The neighbouring local authority of Argyll and Bute, which Jackie Baillie also represents, has been impacted by Covid-19. As of 26 April, the area has seen 4.87 deaths per 10,000 people. This is higher than the Scottish average of 4.19 Covid-19 related deaths.
Jackie believes that there is a direct link between levels of poverty and deprivation and the number of covid 19 deaths in the area. She is calling for additional measures and in particular more testing for local people to catch the symptoms early.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“It is sobering but not completely surprising to learn that West Dunbartonshire has the second highest number of Covid-19 deaths per head of the population.
“My office has been inundated with worried local key workers and family members who share stories of the way that the virus is being handled. Staff in the social care sector have not, until very recently, been provided with the proper PPE needed to carry out their jobs safely. Serious concerns have been raised with me about our older people in care homes and the lack of testing for both residents and staff until very late in the day.
“The Scottish Government must work harder to ensure that every worker, patient and resident is properly protected and supported. Without an immediate, urgent action plan, that tackles poverty and inequality, the death toll will continue to rise in areas like Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire. We should be testing the whole population as well as key workers, quicker and earlier. The 10,000 target for testing set by the First Minister has been missed by a long way and we need to ramp up provision at a local level.
“My thanks goes to all the hard working key workers who are fighting to keep us safe in unimaginable circumstances.”