Scotland’s national clinical director has warned the lifting of lockdown could go into ‘reverse’ following an outbreak of 13 coronavirus cases linked to a pub.
Professor Jason Leitch said health authorities are not expecting a “smooth journey” and have been anticipating small clusters following the reopening of indoor hospitality.
With no “risk-free route” out of lockdown, Prof Leitch said he was “not shocked” over the outbreak linked to The Hawthorn Bar in Aberdeen.
Speaking to BBC Scotland, he highlighted that it was the first of its kind, adding: “So, I don’t think we should overreact, but equally of course we should pay attention to outbreaks in call centres, outbreaks in pharmacies and clusters in pubs.
“And if there are things to learn in there about how to protect the population and how the population should behave, we should reinforce those messages.”
Citing the Australian state of Victoria, which has declared a state of disaster and imposed strict new lockdown measures after a spike in cases, Prof Leitch added: “But there could come a time when we have to go backwards, no question, if we began to see clusters developing or community transmission at a higher level around the country.”
The Hawthorn Bar’s owners said the cases were linked to customers who visited the bar on July 26.
NHS Grampian said contact tracing efforts were continuing to find all those associated with the outbreak.
All those who tested positive are showing only mild symptoms, though the health board says there may be further cases linked to the cluster.
This latest cluster follows another outbreak in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region last week, which itself was linked to a previous outbreak at a call centre in Lanarkshire.
Figures from the Scottish Government on Sunday showed 31 new cases of coronavirus in Scotland within a 24-hour period – the highest daily tally for more than eight weeks.
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