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Coronavirus preparation praised

Published: 16 Feb 2020 12:30

CMO thanks NHS staff.

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has praised the preparations of NHS and frontline health workers in responding to the increased pressures during the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr Catherine Calderwood also thanked members of the public for following the guidelines on self-isolating and playing their part in keeping both themselves and others safe.

Two testing facilities for possible cases of novel coronavirus are now in operation in Scotland, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh.

Health boards are also exploring the ability to undertake community-based testing where this is appropriate rather than require people to travel to a clinical setting.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said

“Although we have yet to see a positive case in Scotland the NHS has been preparing for the possibility ever since the beginning of this outbreak.

“Our staff across the NHS in Scotland have put in extraordinary work and I want to thank all health staff for their continued hard work and dedication during this rapidly evolving situation.

“I would also like to thank the number of people who have listened to advice and self-isolated - you’re playing an important part in keeping both yourselves and others safe and reducing the virus’s spread.

“It is vital that people continue to follow the guidance given. Don’t attend your GP practice or Emergency Department in person.

“If you have symptoms within 14 days of travelling to the affected areas, phone your GP or NHS 24 (111) immediately for urgent health advice.”

Background

Existing NHS laboratories based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh are equipped with the technology to test for novel coronavirus.

Should a test result come back positive, the sample will be sent to Public Health England’s Colindale laboratory in London for a confirmatory test, but this will not delay any public health actions determined to be necessary.

Under the terms of International Health Regulations, high consequence infectious diseases like novel coronavirus are reportable to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Positive tests from new testing centres across the UK are in the process of continuous validation and this requires additional confirmatory testing to be undertaken in the WHO designated testing centre at Colindale.

The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website.

If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of returning from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand, phone your GP or NHS 24 (111) immediately. Travel includes transit through a country.

More information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on NHS Inform.