FEWER coronavirus patients are currently being treated by NHS Borders than at any time since regular updates began two months ago.

The health board announced today (Tuesday, May 26) that a total of nine virus patients are receiving care.

Since regular updates started being issued on March 31, there has never been a smaller number of virus patients being treated.

The greatest number of patients treated was 46 on April 9, while last week's update showed 21 patients alongside 14 suspected cases awaiting results.

The latest figures show that, in addition to the nine existing patients who have tested positive, there are a further 20 people awaiting outcomes.

A total of 35 virus patients have died in the region so far, according to NHS Borders, with a spokesperson adding that there are currently fewer than five patients in the intensive care unit at the Borders General Hospital.

The exact number of ICU patients is being withheld by the health board to protect patient confidentiality.

When NHS Borders issued its first instalment of regular updates to the press on March 31, the authority said seven virus patients had died.

There were 28 virus patients in hospitals, the health board said, with a further 13 suspected cases awaiting results. The ICU contained five virus patients.

Between March 31 and May 8, the health board issued daily updates – changing to weekly reports on May 11.

Throughout April, more than 30 virus patients were being treated, reaching a peak of 46 patients on April 9.

The UK went into lockdown on March 23.