NINE residents of Tranent Care Home have died in the last 10 days as it has become the latest Scottish care home to be devastated by coronavirus.

The deaths are being linked to Covid-19 although it is understood not all those who have passed away were tested for the virus.

East Lothian MSP Iain Gray described the news as 'terrible' and said it was important to ensure action was taken to contain the situation.

Taking to Twitter, he said: "This is terrible news and my thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones. Important that all steps taken now to contain this, protect staff & residents as far as possible. What can we do? Obey the guidelines, stay home and stay safe."

Home operators HC-One said it was working with East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership to support staff and the relatives of those who had died as well as families of other residents in the 60-bed care home on the town's Coal Neuk.

A spokesperson for the home said: "Caring for our residents and supporting our colleagues is at the heart of what we do, and we are doing everything we can to make sure our residents and colleagues stay safe and well throughout these challenging times.

“We have a comprehensive coronavirus contingency plan in place, which was created by our clinical director and reflects the latest government guidance.

"We are working closely with our local health and care partners, and we are continuing to take action to secure the medical equipment, PPE, and supplies we need.

“The home is well stocked with thousands of items of PPE that are available to all colleagues.

“We are proud of our colleagues and how they have risen to the challenge of the coronavirus outbreak by showing huge dedication and commitment to our residents.

"We are providing round-the-clock support for all our teams, and we are also grateful to relatives for their ongoing support and understanding.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with those families who have lost a loved one at this exceptionally difficult time, and we are doing what we can to support them.”

More than 50 residents have reportedly died at six different care homes across Scotland due to coronavirus or suspected coronavirus.

Alison Macdonald, Chief Officer, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, said:“We would like to express our sincere condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and we would reassure them that we are working closely with care homes to help protect patients, families and staff.

“East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership has worked hard to ensure care providers have the vital supplies of PPE they need.

"In addition, stocks are being monitored daily to ensure they are replenished before they are required. We also continue to provide ongoing support, training and advice.”