Coronavirus: Number of cases in Scotland rises to 23

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said five new Covid-19 patients had been identified as of Monday morning.

Coronavirus: Number of cases in Scotland rises to 23 Peter Jolly

The total number of cases of coronavirus in Scotland has risen to 23, the First Minister has announced.

Nicola Sturgeon said five more Covid-19 patients had been identified as of 9am on Monday after cases rose to 18 over the weekend.

She said officials are still in the first “containment phase” of the UK’s plan to deal with the virus, which has infected more than 100,000 people around the world.

The UK Government has said it is preparing to move into the second “delay phase”, which seeks to slow the spread of the virus, possibly through “social distancing” measures like cancelling public gatherings or major events.

Sturgeon said the decision to formally move into the second phase has not yet been taken, with schools to stay open for now.

She also said cancelling large-scale events is currently “not appropriate” but indicated those stances could change.

The First Minister stressed there is an “increasing inevitability” of a coronavirus outbreak across the UK.

All those diagnosed in Scotland are traceable to travel or to other confirmed cases and are not seriously unwell, she added.

Sturgeon said Scotland “may be a few days behind” some other parts of the UK in severity “but over time I expect that to flatten out”.

It comes as the number of confirmed cases of the virus in the UK reached 319 on Monday, with five deaths.

Speaking to MPs on Monday afternoon, UK health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed a fourth person has died in connection to the outbreak.

The FM was speaking at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh after taking part in the UK Government’s Cobra meeting, ahead of chairing a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Committee.

Cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Tayside, Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Grampian, Fife, Lothian, Lanarkshire and Shetland.

So far, Scottish health authorities have conducted 2101 coronavirus tests on people, with 2078 tests confirmed negative.

A dentist in Cumbernauld has taken a decision to temporarily close as a precaution following the emergence of a coronavirus case at the practice.

The Stewart and Stewart Dental Practice is currently working closely with NHS Lanarkshire’s public health team who are in the process of contacting practice patients who have been in contact with the confirmed case.

Dr Femi Oshin, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine, said: “We want to reassure all staff and patients of the practice that the risk of contracting coronavirus from this individual is low.

“Our public health team is in the process of telephoning those patients who have been in contact with the confirmed case and issuing public health advice. These phone calls will take place over the next day.

“Not everyone who has attended the practice last week will have had contact with the confirmed case. We want to reassure these patients – and indeed everyone at this time – that they should follow the most up-to-date health advice, which can be found on the NHS Inform website.”

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