Coronavirus: NHS Forth Valley says ‘well rehearsed plans’ in place to deal with virus

“Well rehearsed plans” are in place to tackle coronavirus in Scotland, the NHS has said.

By Jonathon Reilly
Monday, 2nd March 2020, 10:41 am

NHS Forth Valley has moved to reassure members of the public after the first case of the virus was confirmed in this country.

A patient from the Tayside area tested positive for coronavirus after being admitted to hospital following a recent trip to northern Italy. The person is currently receiving treatment in isolation.

Clinicians have already begun contact tracing — the process of gathering details of the places the person visited and the people they have been in contact with since returning to the UK.

This involves either face to face contact or spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of an infected person.

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said: “Well rehearsed plans and procedures are in place across NHS Scotland to deal with Coronavirus (COVID -19).

“This includes testing of potential cases, tracing of anyone who has been in close contact with any positive cases and management of any potential cases in a way that protects the public and NHS staff.

“Up-to-date information and advice on Coronavirus can be found on NHS Inform — www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus — and anyone who has any questions or concerns can contact the NHS 24 helpline on 0800 028 2816 for advice.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR) and will be taking part in a UK Government resilience meeting chaired by the Prime Minister this morning to ensure all necessary steps are being taken to prepare for further expected cases in Scotland.

There have been a total of 698 negative test results in Scotland since the start of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

According to Scottish and UK protocol, all patients presenting with a history and symptoms which may be suggestive of coronavirus will be isolated and appropriate infection prevention and control measures put in place.

The First Minister said: “Our first thoughts must be with the patient diagnosed with coronavirus, I wish them a speedy recovery.

“Scotland is well prepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus but there is currently no treatment or vaccine. Early detection measures will continue to be vital in helping to prevent the spread of the virus.

“People have a vital role to play in helping us contain any outbreak by following the latest health and travel advice, and following basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.”

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “Firstly our thoughts are with the person who has been diagnosed, and with their family.

“I would like to thank all the health professionals who continue to be involved in their care and treatment.

“Scotland is well equipped to deal with infections of this kind. We have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues, and have been preparing for this possibility since the beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan.

“This is peak season for respiratory and flu-like illness. There will be people presenting with symptoms of acute respiratory illness but these cases are highly unlikely to be coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We practise and prepare our response to disease outbreaks and follow tried and tested procedures, following the highest safety standards possible for the protection of NHS staff, patients and the public.”