BORDERS MP John Lamont says "there are questions that need to be answered" after the deaths of seven care home residents with coronavirus.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) announced the deaths at Eyemouth's Saltgreens Care Home this week in response to a query from the Border Telegraph.

Mr Lamont described the news as "terribly sad", going on to add: “Clearly there are questions that need to be answered about this outbreak."

Saltgreens, which is run by the council, first reported virus cases in April.

But on Monday (June 1), the council said seven residents have died since then and had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificates. The Scottish Government and the Care Inspectorate had been kept informed, the council says.

Mr Lamont – who represents Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk – said his "thoughts and prayers" are with affected families and friends.

In a statement issued on June 3, he said: “This has been an incredibly difficult time for care homes and their staff across Scotland.

"I want to pay tribute to all of them who have worked so hard during this difficult time for our country.

“Clearly there are questions that need to be answered about this outbreak.

"I know that the NHS and the council are working with care homes across the Borders to ensure that they remain free of coronavirus.”

Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton said her "deepest sympathies" lie with families who have lost relatives at Saltgreens.

SBC says staff in its care homes have been wearing "appropriate" personal protective equipment (PPE).

As previously reported, the authority's chief executive Tracey Logan said: "Our staff have fully embraced the wearing of PPE from the beginning and have raised no issues about this."

Ms Logan added Borders care homes have fewer virus cases and deaths than those in many other areas.