Coronavirus: First ‘community-transmitted’ case in Scotland

There have been nine more cases confirmed by the Scottish Government since Tuesday, taking the total to 36.

The number of coronavirus cases in Scotland has risen to 36 as the outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The Scottish Government’s daily update reveals nine new cases since Tuesday, increasing the total from 27 to 36, with 2316 tests on Scots carried out.

The new patients include Scotland’s first case of community transmission.

Chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood said: “We have identified the first case of community transmission in Scotland which is unrelated to contact or travel.

“This was identified through our enhanced surveillance scheme.

“It is important to emphasise that we are still in the containment phase.

“This case was to be expected and highlights the importance of the additional measures we have put in place to identify positive cases beyond self-identification.”

Two doctors who work at Murrayfield’s private Spire facility in Edinburgh have tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile Merkland School in Kirkintilloch has been closed over coronavirus fears.

East Dunbartonshire council took the precautionary measure after learning  someone who had been on the premises was advised to self-isolate by the NHS.

The building will be shut down to ensure a deep clean is carried out before pupils and staff can safely return.

Ann Davie, depute chief executive for education, people & business said: “The Council took the decision this morning to close Merkland School as a precautionary measure having learned that someone who had been in the premises had been contacted by the NHS and advised to self-isolate in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) as a result of their contacts.

“Whilst closure was not a health advice requirement given the low risk nature of the contact, given the potential vulnerabilities of some in this school community, the precautionary decision was taken to close the school today to enable a deep clean to be carried out.

“That deep clean is being completed, and in line with current health advice, the school will be open as normal tomorrow”.

The NHS Lothian area has the highest number of cases, with eight confirmed, while there are six in NHS Grampian and five in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS board area.

A further four cases have been detected in the Lanarkshire area, as well as three in Ayrshire and Arran, and two each in NHS Borders, NHS Fife, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Shetland and NHS Tayside.

A total of 456 cases have been confirmed across the UK and a total of six patients have died.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre in Edinburgh on Wednesday to watch a demonstration of the new coronavirus video consultation being carried out.

Nicola Sturgeon looks at coronavirus video consultations in Edinburgh.

More than £3m is being spent on a “rapid scaling up” of NHS facilities for video consultations in the wake of the outbreak.

The fund will boost the NHS Near Me system, which is currently used for hospital outpatient appointments with consultants.

‘I’m here in Wester Hailes health centre just now looking at the technology that we’re accelerating the rollout of because of coronavirus, it allows patients to consult their GPs through video link from their own homes – simply by using a smartphone or iPad.’

Nicola Sturgeon

The system will be used for GP appointments to reduce face-to-face contact.

Sturgeon said: “There is an enormous amount of work under way right now to increase NHS capacity and to accelerate plans to change the way people can access health services.

“I’m here in Wester Hailes health centre just now looking at the technology that we’re accelerating the rollout of because of coronavirus.

“It allows patients to consult their GPs through video link from their own homes – simply by using a smartphone or iPad.

“This is the kind of work we are doing to make sure that our NHS is as able to respond to what will be a significant challenge as is possible.”

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