National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Deaths involving COVID-19, Week 21 - 18th to 24th May

Deaths involving COVID-19, Week 21 - 18th to 24th May

Wednesday, 27 May 2020
COVID-19 News Release Image

As at 24th May, 3,779 deaths have been registered in Scotland where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was mentioned on the death certificate, according to statistics published by National Records of Scotland (NRS) today.

Between 18th to 24th May, 230 deaths relating to COVID-19 have been registered, a decrease of 105 from the previous week, 11th to 17th May. Deaths involving COVID-19 as a proportion of all deaths has now fallen to 19% in week 21, having reached 36% in week 17. This is the fourth weekly reduction in a row of deaths involving COVID-19.

To place these statistics in context, the total number of deaths registered in Scotland from 18th to 24th May was 1,223, 17% higher than the average number of deaths registered in the same week over the last five years, 1,045. Since the 878 excess deaths reported in week 15, the number of excess deaths has decreased week on week, to 178 in week 21. There were fewer deaths from respiratory diseases (-39), circulatory conditions (-31) and dementia and Alzheimer’s (-11) compared to the average for this time of year.  As a result, the number of deaths where COVID-19 was the underlying cause (212 in total) was greater than the total number of excess deaths for this time of year.

More than half of all registered deaths involving COVID-19 in week 21 occurred in care homes, 54%, down from 60% in week 18. The number of deaths in care homes fell for a fourth week in a row, down by 62 from last week to 124.

Three quarters of registered deaths involving COVID-19 to date were people aged 75 or over, 76%.  

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services, said:              

“Every death from this virus is a tragedy. These statistics, alongside the other important evidence being made available by the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland (HPS), are valuable to the understanding of the progress and impact of the COVID-19 virus across Scotland.

These latest figures show that for the fourth week running there has been a reduction in COVID-19 related deaths.  

Our aim is to ensure that our statistical publication provides information that is as useful as possible and adds value to the understanding of how the virus is spreading throughout the country. We will continue to review and develop these statistics as new information is made available.”

The publication Deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland and an infographic summary is available on this website.