Rescuers urge climbers to avoid hills amid coronavirus chaos

Crews stressed one accident could add extra pressure on an 'already stretched and fragile' health service.

Ben Nevis: Walkers and climbers have bee advised to stay at home.
Ben Nevis: Walkers and climbers have bee advised to stay at home.

Mountain rescuers have urged walkers and climbers to avoid Scotland’s hills during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team stressed one accident could add extra pressure on an “already stretched and fragile” health service working tirelessly to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

It also said crews’ ability to safely and quickly respond to incidents has been impacted by the current national emergency.

On Saturday, a seventh patient diagnosed with coronavirus died in Scotland and the number of cases increased to 373.

‘Please do not put extra stress on our small and already fragile healthcare infrastructure.’

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team

The LMRT secretary and local consultant physician said: “Although the Lochaber hills are looking beautiful and inviting at present, we as a team would not be responsible if we failed to point out that, at this time of national emergency, our ability to respond to incidents may be curtailed by circumstances created by #Covid19.

“Hillgoers should consider what extra pressures a single accident may put upon already stretched local hospital services. 

Although the Lochaber hills are looking beautiful and inviting at present, we as a team would not be responsible if we…

Posted by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team on Saturday, 21 March 2020

“As much as it pains us, as hillgoers ourselves, the best thing folk could do is stay at home at this time. 

“Please do not put extra stress on our small and already fragile healthcare infrastructure.

“The hills will still be here next winter and hopefully later in the summer adventure can be had.”

While venues such as pubs, cafes, restaurants and cinemas have already been told to shut to help curb the spread of the disease, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scots could face “even stricter and more difficult” measures as part of the fight against the outbreak. 

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