A Scottish health board has reassured members of the public that a rise in coronavirus cases is not down to people “fooling” Covid-19 tests with tomato sauce.
NHS Grampian issued advice rubbishing rumours that the increasing number of positive results in Moray were due to Lateral Flow Devices being tricked by ketchup – or any other condiment.
The statement comes as the health board seeks to reassure residents after the rate of coronavirus cases in the council area surged above the rest of Scotland.
A NHS Grampian spokesperson said: “Please set aside the rumours and hearsay. The situation in Moray is real and it is serious.”
Young adults in Moray are to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations sooner than expected in a bid to tackle the growing outbreak. NHS Grampian said 18-39-year-olds will start to receive appointments from Saturday.
The update came the day after the health board said door-to-door testing for the virus was being considered due to a “rapidly deteriorating” outbreak.
Almost 50 coronavirus cases have been linked to Elgin Academy since April 14. More than a quarter of the school’s population of around 1000 pupils have since been ordered by public health officials to self-isolate.
An NHS Grampian spokesperson said: “We can’t quite believe we have to say this, but here goes: rising case numbers in Moray are not the result of people ‘fooling’ Lateral Flow Devices with tomato ketchup – or any other condiment for that matter.
“A positive Lateral Flow Device test is always followed up with a PCR test to confirm the result. This is the gold standard of testing. 90% of the positive LFD tests in Moray have been confirmed as positive by PCR testing.
“We are seeing people requiring hospital treatment as a result of COVID-19 infection. We need people to [protect Moray], stick to the guidelines, and take up the expanded testing offer.”