Scottish Coronavirus case now reckoned ‘highly likely’

The Scottish Government and NHS Scotland are “well-prepared” to deal with a potential coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Holyrood administration said today.

A drive through Coronavirus testing system has been established at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
A drive through Coronavirus testing system has been established at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

It says it is working with the UK Government, Wales and Northern Ireland to publish a coordinated response.

A spokesperson said: “In the coming days the four nations will jointly publish an updated action plan on the response of the health care system and the public to coronavirus.

“The document will outline the steps that will be taken to manage coronavirus if there is a sustained epidemic”

The Scottish Government is also participating in the UK wide launch of an updated public information campaign.

It will feature posters and social media adverts to reinforce the importance of hand-washing for 20 seconds or more with water and soap, to prevent the spread of the virus.

In addition, the Scottish Government says it has taken steps which include developeing emergency regulations to ensure coronavirus is a notifiable disease, and has implemented a training programme, and trained Scottish Ambulance Service staff to support the transport of patients who may be infectious.

It has also established laboratories in Glasgow and Edinburgh to manage an increase in testing, and delivered face masks to GP practices as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile guidance has been issued to clinicians as well as sector-specific information to schools, universities, ports and airports to ensure members of the public are alerted to the latest clinical information

There’s additionally a dedicated helpline within NHS 24 to provide members of the public with the opportunity to receive information and discuss concerns.

An online resource via NHS Inform has also been created that can be accessed 24/7.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “In Scotland we have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues and while all tests have so far come back negative,

“it is highly likely that we will see a positive case soon as coronavirus continues to spread around the world”.

She added: “Staff across the Scottish Government, its agencies and key partners are stepping up work to deal with the potential consequences of a coronavirus outbreak.

“This includes prioritising key activity to keep Scotland running should the situation change, but also to ensure that all sectors can play their part in managing the response.

“Led by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, our clinicians and Health Protection Scotland are working closely with their counterparts across the UK to guarantee a consistent and joined up approach.

““We will continue to ensure we are as prepared as possible for the likelihood of coronavirus cases in Scotland and will continue to work with health boards, local authorities and other governments across the UK in ensuring that plans and preparations are in place to respond.”