Killer driver’s five-year sentence ‘outrageous and unjust’

Shaun Gatti had been drinking at a nightclub before he knocked down 15-year-old Robyn Fryar.

By Jenness Mitchell & Louise Scott

The family of a schoolgirl who was mowed down and left dying on the road has branded the killer driver’s five-year jail sentence as ‘outrageous and unjust’.

Shaun Gatti, 21, had been drinking at a nightclub in Paisley before he knocked down 15-year-old Robyn Fryar in the Renfrewshire town on July 7, 2019.

The teenager, who was struck as she crossed a road with friends around 2am, died hours later from her injuries.

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Gatti fled the scene with a friend in his Volkswagen Golf and attempted to cover up his involvement by cleaning his car, hiding it under tarpaulin and removing its registration plates.

However, he was soon snared after an anonymous tip-off to police.

At the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday, Gatti was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

Robyn’s parents, Iain Fryar and Cheryl Madden, told STV News they did not feel justice had been served.

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Ms Madden said: “That’s outrageous, absolutely outrageous.

“I’m going to appeal against that sentence because I don’t think that was just.”

Mr Fryar said he did not expect the sentence to be “so short”.

He added: “A judge decides to give him a few years in prison. If that’s justice, I don’t know what justice is.

“It’s like Robyn was insignificant and meant nothing.

“He can now go on and know he’s going to be out. We have got to live in this hell for the rest of our lives.

“We can only visit our daughter at the cemetery. I know he’s incarcerated, but he’s still got a life to look forward to. My daughter never got a life to look forward to.”

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Gatti was also banned from the roads for 11 years and seven months after admitting causing the teenager’s death by dangerous driving.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Club: Shaun Gatti was drinking before the fatal incident.

Gatti, who had been captured on CCTV drinking a cocktail out of a fish bowl at Paisley’s Vienna nightclub before the fatal incident, was traced too late by police to have a drink-driving sample taken.

However, police estimated he was driving at up to 47mph in a 30mph zone at the time of the incident. He was also on the wrong side of the road.

Ms Madden said: “She would never have survived what happened to her. Her injuries were so severe.”

Lord Mulholland told Gatti during his sentencing he had “delivered the most acute grief” and a “life sentence” to Robyn’s family.

Mr Fryar said his “heart left” him when he was told the police were coming to pick him up following the incident.

He said: “You always think that these things happen to other people. You don’t ever expect you to get that phone call.”

Robyn, who was supposed to be staying at a friend’s house that night, was described as “intelligent and brilliant at school”.

Mr Fryar added: “She was everybody’s friend, and she loved life.

“From being an IVF baby she was very special, and she knew it.

“She loved everything to do with life.”

Responding to Mr Fryar and Ms Madden’s call to appeal Gatti’s sentence, a spokesperson from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “As with all cases, the Crown will consider the sentence and give consideration to whether it might be unduly lenient.”


Scotland’s five-tier coronavirus alert system revealed

Different parts of Scotland to be given their own level of restrictions under the plans.

Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images

A proposed five-tier system of measures for dealing with coronavirus in Scotland has been revealed.

The plan – set to come into force on November 2 – ranges from life being “closest to normal” without a vaccine at level zero to almost a full lockdown at level four, when non-essential shops would close.

Level two will be similar to current rules outside central Scotland, with level three likened to those inside the central belt, where pubs and restaurants are closed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said there were no plans to close schools, even under the strictest measures.

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Council areas in Scotland will each be given their own alert rating, with restrictions designed to match the risk of Covid spreading locally.

However, the whole country could be placed in the same level if necessary, Sturgeon said at her daily briefing, where she also revealed the week’s death toll from Covid-19 had reached 94.

The new system of restrictions has been anticipated since a similar three-tiered system was introduced in England by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

MSPs will vote on whether to adopt the new the proposal next week.

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Earlier this month, temporary restrictions were brought in across Scotland and, although initially set to end on October 25, these were extended until the new tiered system comes into effect.

Since October 9, bars and licensed restaurants in five health board areas – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley – have been forced to close for all but takeaways.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes elsewhere in Scotland are only allowed to serve indoor customers between 6am and 6pm with a ban on alcohol inside, although alcoholic drinks can be served until 10pm in outdoor areas.

The hospitality industry has launched legal action to challenge the restrictions, which it says will cost jobs and force businesses to close permanently.

Indoor meetings with other households are also currently banned across Scotland.

Level by level at-a-glance

Zero

  • Most businesses can open
  • Eight people from three households are able to meet indoors
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One

  • Indoor visits restricted to six people from two households

Two

  • Limits on when pubs and restaurants can open
  • No indoor socialising
  • Six people from two households will be able to meet outdoors

Three

  • Closure of pubs, although restaurants can open in some circumstances

Four

  • Closure of non-essential shops

At a glance: Scotland’s new coronavirus levels system

The Scottish Government's new strategic framework for tackling the spread of Covid-19 has five tiers.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined a new system for dealing with coronavirus.

It involves five levels, zero to four, and will come into effect on November 2, pending parliamentary approval of the framework on Tuesday.

Sturgeon said on Friday the central belt is currently living with the equivalent of level three restrictions in the new system and the rest of the country is living with restrictions that are the equivalent of level two.

The FM also said a final decision on where each local authority area will be placed in the new framework has not yet been made.

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Level zero will represent the closest to normal the country can get without effective treatment or a vaccine, whereas level four will be much closer to the full lockdown restrictions seen from the end of March.

The Scottish Government framework can be viewed here and at a glance below:

LEVEL ZERO:

Socialising – Eight people from three households can meet indoors. Fifteen people from five households can meet outdoors.

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Hospitality – Pubs, restaurants and cafes are open and can sell alcohol indoors and outdoors. But restrictions on opening hours may apply.

Accommodation – Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation such as caravans and campsites are permitted to open.

Travel – No non-essential travel to/from areas of Scotland that are in level three or higher. International quarantine regulations apply.

Transport – Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. Face masks on public transport.

Retail and close contact services – Shops and close contact services – such as hairdressers, barbers, tailors and beauticians are open.

Public buildings – Buildings such as libraries and museums are open.

Stadia and events – Outdoor events are permitted and spectators allowed inf football stadiums with restricted numbers. Indoor events can go ahead with restricted numbers.

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Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals – All allowed but with a 50 person limit.

Places of worship – Open but restricted to 50 people.

Leisure and Entertainment – Open with the exception of adult entertainment and nightclubs.

Workplaces – Open but working from home is the default option.

Schools – Open with standard protective measures in place.

LEVEL ONE:

Socialising – Six people from two households can meet indoors and outdoors.

Hospitality – Pubs, restaurants and cafes are open and can sell alcohol indoors and outdoors. But restrictions on opening hours may apply.

Accommodation – Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation such as caravans and campsites are permitted to open.

Travel – No non-essential travel to/from areas of Scotland that are in level three or higher. International quarantine regulations apply.

Transport – Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. Face masks on public transport.

Retail and close contact services – Shops and close contact services – such as hairdressers, barbers, tailors and beauticians are open.

Public buildings – Buildings such as libraries and museums are open.

Stadia and events – Outdoor events are permitted and spectators allowed inf football stadiums with restricted numbers. Indoor events can go ahead with restricted numbers.

Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals – All allowed but with a 20 person limit.

Places of worship – Open but restricted to 50 people.

Leisure and Entertainment – Open with the exception of adult entertainment and nightclubs.

Workplaces – Open but working from home is the default option.

Schools – Open with standard protective measures in place.

LEVEL TWO:

Socialising – People cannot socialise indoors with another household. Six people from two households can meet outdoors and in hospitality settings.

Hospitality – Pubs, restaurants and cafes are open. Alcohol can be sold outdoors but only with a main meal indoors. Restrictions on opening hours may apply.

Accommodation – Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation such as caravans and campsites are permitted to open. Level 2 hospitality rules apply.

Travel – No non-essential travel to/from areas of Scotland that are in level three or higher. International quarantine regulations apply.

Transport – Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. Face masks on public transport.

Retail and close contact services – Shops and close contact services – such as hairdressers, barbers, tailors and beauticians – open but mobile close contact services not permitted.

Public buildings – Buildings such as libraries and museums are open with protective measures in place.

Stadia and events – Only drive-in events permitted. Stadiums closed to spectators.

Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals – All allowed but with a 20 person limit.

Places of worship – Open but restricted to 50 people.

Leisure and Entertainment – Cinemas and amusement arcades can open. The following venues must close: soft play, funfairs, indoor bowling, theatres, snooker/pool halls, music venues, casinos, bingo halls, nightclubs and adult entertainment

Workplaces – Open but working from home is the default option.

Schools – Open with standard protective measures in place.

LEVEL THREE:

Socialising – People cannot socialise indoors. Six people from two households can meet outdoors and in hospitality settings.

Hospitality – Pubs, restaurants and cafes cannot sell alcohol indoors or outdoors. Restrictions on opening hours for eating out may apply.

Accommodation – Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation such as caravans and campsites are permitted to open. The guidance encourages non-essential use by locals only – not for tourists.

Travel – No non-essential travel into our out of the level three area. International quarantine regulations apply.

Transport – Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. Avoid non-essential use of public transport. Face coverings compulsory.

Retail and close contact services – Shops and close contact services – such as hairdressers, barbers, tailors and beauticians are open but may be subject to additional measures. Mobile close contact services not permitted.

Public buildings – Buildings such as libraries and museums are open with protective measures in place.

Stadia and events – No indoor or outdoor events permitted. Stadiums closed to spectators.

Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals – All allowed but with a 20 person limit.

Places of worship – Open but restricted to 50 people.

Leisure and Entertainment – All venues closed.

Workplaces – Open but working from home is the default option.

Schools – Open with standard protective measures in place.

LEVEL FOUR:

Socialising – People cannot socialise indoors. Six people from two households can meet outdoors.

Hospitality – Pubs, restaurants and cafes must close.

Accommodation – Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation not open for tourists. Work-related essential use only.

Travel – No non-essential travel into or out of the level 4 area. If necessary, limits on travel distance, or a requirement to stay at home.

Transport – Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. No use of public transport, except for essential purposes. Face coverings compulsory

Retail and close contact services – Shops and close contact services – such as hairdressers, barbers, tailors and beauticians – must close. Mobile close contact services not permitted

Public buildings – Buildings such as libraries and museums are closed.

Stadia and events – No indoor or outdoor events permitted. Stadiums closed to spectators.

Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals – A maximum of five people allowed at weddings (six where an interpreter is required). Funerals and wakes subject to 20 person limit.

Places of worship – Open but restricted to 20 people.

Leisure and Entertainment – All venues closed.

Workplaces – Only essential indoor workplaces can open along with outdoor workplaces in sectors such as construction and engineering.

Schools – Open with standard protective measures in place.

Coronavirus: 18 more deaths and 1401 new cases in Scotland

The First Minister confirmed the latest figures at the daily briefing.

Andrew Milligan via Getty Images

Another 18 people with coronavirus have died in Scotland as the country recorded 1401 new cases.

The latest figures were revealed by the First Minister at the daily briefing.

The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – has risen to 2688.

Of the new cases recorded, 493 were in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 413 in Lanarkshire, 169 in Lothian and 117 in Ayrshire and Arran.

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There are currently 975 patients in hospital, who are confirmed to have the virus, 41 more than on Thursday.

Of these, 76 people are being treated in intensive care.

Visiting restrictions to come into force at three hospitals

NHS Tayside has put restrictions in place at Perth Royal Infirmary, Ninewells Hospital and Strathcaro Hospital.

© Google Maps 2020
Perth Royal Infirmary: Visiting restrictions will come into force on Monday.

New visiting restrictions will come into force at three hospitals across Tayside on Monday.

The health board said its clinical and public health teams made the “difficult decision” in order to curb the spread of coronavirus and protect vulnerable patients.

All wards at Perth Royal Infirmary will be restricted to visitors, along with all adult wards at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. The surgical unit wards at Strathcaro Hospital near Brechin have also been restricted.

Claire Pearce, NHS Tayside’s director of nursing and midwifery, said: “We understand that suspending visiting will impact on families and patients and we know that not being able to visit family members whilst they are in hospital is distressing for many people. 

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“However it is vital that we keep our patients, staff and the public safe. We hope everyone understands that we have made this difficult decision for these reasons.”  

Four wards across Tayside already have restricted visiting due to outbreaks of Covid-19.

The health board said the virus is “circulating widely in the community”, with the current incidence rate within Dundee higher than some of the local authorities in the central belt that are under enhanced restrictions.

NHS Tayside said there are almost 50 patients with confirmed coronavirus in its hospitals, along with a number of suspected cases.

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Despite the restrictions, visiting can continue in specific circumstances, for example for patients receiving end-of-life care. 

The public can continue to visit:

  • Tayside Children’s Hospital.
  • Maternity and neonatal wards. Partners can continue to attend for births, scans and antenatal appointments.
  • Mental health facilities, including Carseview Centre.
  • Community hospitals.

Anyone with a question about visiting should contact the senior charge nurse in the ward to discuss their individual situation.  

Ms Pearce added: “In order to manage the number of patients with the virus, we are using our three acute hospitals flexibly with patients and staff moving between the sites. 

“This means that we must restrict visiting in all three sites to help further reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals each day and help limit the spread of coronavirus. 

“We will continue to offer virtual visiting for patients using telephones, tablets and laptops to allow people to keep in touch with their loved ones.” 

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Hospital: The fight to stop the spread of the deadly virus goes on.

Meanwhile, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is calling on the public to heed current guidelines to minimise the number of new hospital admissions following a surge in coronavirus case numbers.

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There are currently more than 500 patients in hospital across the region with the virus.

The health board has now implemented red, amber and green patient pathways across its sites to separate Covid from non-Covid patients to minimise the spread of the virus.

There are currently 20 red wards which are exclusively treating patients with Covid-19. 

Dr Scott Davidson, deputy medical director for acute services at NHSGGC, said: “Numbers are continuing to rise across Scotland, and Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been the worst affected region in the country. 

“It is absolutely critical the public follows the guidelines to ensure that our staff are able to continue effectively managing and treating both Covid and non-Covid patients.

“During this time we are maintaining a programme of elective surgery but this also means that we are currently looking after more patients than ever before, so while the numbers of Covid-19 patients may not yet have reached March’s peak levels, there is as much pressure on our staff across services.

“We would like to remind the public of the current policies in relation to using health services, as minimising unnecessary footfall plays a huge role in preventing the spread of the virus, and allows our staff to focus on delivering the best care possible.”

Health service guidance

  • Attend hospital appointments alone unless you fall into one of the specific support categories
  • Please only use emergency departments in an emergency.
  • Community assessment centres are there to provide support to those with Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Community health practices and pharmacies are still available alongside out-of-hours services, which you can access by calling 111.

FACTS guidance:

F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport.

A – Avoid crowded places.

C – Clean your hands frequently, using water and soap whenever possible.

T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.

S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms.

For more information, click here.

 


St Mirren’s match against Hamilton postponed after Covid outbreak

St Mirren don't have enough players to fulfill Saturday's fixture.

Ross Parker via SNS Group
St Mirren have been hit with another series of positive tests,

The SPFL have confirmed that St Mirren’s Premiership match against Hamilton on Saturday has been postponed as a result of the Paisley club’s latest coronavirus outbreak.

The club says a number of positive cases have been discovered to add to several players already self-isolating.

That has left St Mirren without enough players to fulfil the fixture, meaning they miss their second consecutive game after the match against Motherwell was called off last weekend.

A statement from the SPFL read: “Tomorrow’s Scottish Premiership match between St Mirren and Hamilton Academical has been postponed after St Mirren informed the SPFL that they could not fulfil the fixture.

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“St Mirren have informed the SPFL that, due to a number of positive tests for Covid-19 amongst their playing squad and coaching staff, and a number of other players who are isolating, they have only eleven registered fit players available for tomorrow’s game against Hamilton Academical – and that, as a result, St Mirren are unable to fulfil tomorrow’s fixture.

“As a result, and in line with standard procedure, the SPFL have postponed the fixture pending the ongoing investigation into the events at St Mirren.”


Braehead shopping centre taken over after administration

Shopping complex had faced an uncertain future after going into administration in June.

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Braehead features a host of big-name retailers.

One of Scotland’s biggest shopping centres has been saved from administration.

intu Braehead, in Renferewshire, faced an uncertain future after its owner failed to reach a financial agreement with its lenders in June.

The shopping centre, which boasts brands such as Apple, Next, River Island and Superdry as well as a sports and events arena, will now be run by Global Mutual and Savills.

It will still be called intu Braehead temporarily despite the change in management.

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Peter Beagley, centre director, said: “Today is an important milestone for intu Braehead as we begin a new chapter under different management.

“We have a great team who have worked tirelessly over the past few months to enable the centre to reopen safely and continue delivering for our visitors and tenants.

“Now working together with the highly experienced teams at Global Mutual and Savills we have a lot to be excited about.”


Murder arrest after man found dead inside home

The body of Daniel Greer was discovered within his home in the village of Greengairs on Monday.

Police Scotland via Facebook / Ross MacDonald via SNS Group
Man arrested in connection with death of Daniel Greer.

A man has been arrested in connection with a murder in North Lanarkshire.

Daniel Greer, 33, was found dead at his home on Rankin Street in the village of Greengairs, near Airdrie, at around 12.55pm on Monday, October 19.

Police launched a murder inquiry earlier this week and confirmed on Friday that a 43-year-old man has been detained in connection with Mr Greer’s death.

Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone who believes they can assist police should contact them on 101.

Scotland ‘on track’ to hit 65,000 coronavirus tests per day

A Lighthouse lab director denies capacity issues as three new regional hubs prepare to open across the country.

STV News

A review of Scotland’s testing strategy says the country is “on track” to hit 65,000 tests per day.

Three new regional hubs are to open in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, increasing capacity by 22,000 tests a day for NHS Scotland.

The hubs will be located at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow, Lauriston Place in Edinburgh and Foresterhill in Aberdeen – all sites previously occupied by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

Chief nursing officer professor Fiona McQueen said: “NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system is performing well, even with rising cases and the country is on track to expand overall testing capacity to 65,000 tests per day by winter.

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“However, while the full extent of the pandemic in Scotland over the winter months is currently unknown, it is crucial that there is a greater focus on reducing test turnaround times so that we can further reduce transmission by enabling timely contact tracing and isolation of close contacts. Initiatives such as the additional NHS Scotland regional labs will go some way towards this.”

The NHS hubs are in addition to an increase in UK Government-run testing being carried out at the Lighthouse lab, part of a network of diagnostic testing facilities at Lighthouse sites around the UK.

The Glasgow facility is hosted by the University of Glasgow at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus, and it currently processes around 50,000 tests a day from across the UK though primarily from Scotland.

The director of the Lighthouse laboratory says there are no issues with coronavirus testing capacity and insists staff are ready to deal with any winter challenges.

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Scottish ministers had blamed Sunday’s late coronavirus cases report on capacity issues at the UK Government’s Lighthouse lab, but the UK Government denied there were any testing capacity problems and described the allegations as “categorically untrue”.

Carol Clugston, director of the laboratory where around 500 people work, said: “We don’t have problems with capacity, what we do is we report what our capacity is week to week so currently our capacity is about 50,000 tests per day.

“Across the UK network there are logistic teams that actually make sure the tests that we get sent to us are in line with our capacity so that we don’t get more than we can process or that we don’t get less, that we have unused capacity.

“Generally that works very well. It is a very complex system, we’re not involved in that but generally it works well.”

The Lighthouse laboratory has processed three million tests since it came online in April, when it was processing just around 40 tests a day.

There are plans to increase capacity to 85,000 tests a day in the coming weeks and the laboratory is recruiting staff to enable it to do so.

Scientists ‘pinpoint fragments of Covid acid in waste water’

Researchers find fragments of ribonucleic acid in samples from 12 health boards.

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Coronavirus: Analysis identified the acid in waste water from 12 of 14 health boards.

Scientists have found fragments of coronavirus’s ribonucleic acid (RNA) in waste water samples from the majority of Scotland’s health board areas, according to an environmental body.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) began exploratory work in May to find traces of the virus’s genetic footprint, similar to DNA.

Analysis of the collected samples has identified RNA in waste water from 12 of Scotland’s 14 health boards, with only Shetland and the Western Isles in the clear.

The results have been shared with Public Health Scotland (PHS) and are consistent with areas known to have confirmed Covid-19 cases.

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Terry A’Hearn, Sepa chief executive, said: “As Scotland’s environmental watchdog and as a public agency, we remain proud to be playing our part in the national effort to combat coronavirus.

“Our scientific capabilities and expertise in designing and implementing monitoring networks made us ideally suited to delivering this trial and the results we are seeing demonstrate its scientific validity.

“Central to the delivery of this project has been our partnership working with Scottish Water and the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, and we will continue to work closely together to refine our techniques and understanding.

“We’ve received support from across the public sector, agencies and institutions – including a donation of specialist kit from Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture – demonstrating how Scotland is coming together to find ways of tackling this virus.”

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Samples are collected by Scottish Water and its operators at 28 public waste water treatment works across the country.

The World Health Organisation has said there is currently no evidence Covid-19 has been transmitted via sewerage systems.

But in the Sepa research, analysis of Aberdeen found prevalence of the virus mirroring cases in the population at the beginning of August.

The sampling rate was increased to four times a week to provide more information and there was then a gradual decline to below the level that concentrations can be detected with sufficient accuracy.

Results remained at the same level until the end of September before rising again, reflecting PHS data on known cases.

The Sepa team is also assisting UK government scientific advisers who are investigating how waste water monitoring can be used to track the transmission of coronavirus.

The Scottish Government’s environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “In order to manage the coronavirus pandemic, it is vital that we continue to develop our understanding of it.

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“I welcome this UK-wide programme of research and the development of waste water monitoring to help build our knowledge base.

“Sepa and Scottish Water have translated this experimental programme into a comprehensive, Scotland-wide monitoring network.

“The early data is already providing our public health experts with new information, which complements the wider population testing programme to give a more robust picture of the prevalence of Covid disease in Scotland.

“I look forward to the programme providing further, valuable data over the coming months to support our fight against the pandemic.”

The Sepa data is available online here.


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