Coronavirus: first case is confirmed in Scotland

A patient has been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland — the first case confirmed in the country.

The patient is a resident of the Tayside area and recently travelled from northern Italy.

Following a positive test result for the virus, the patient is being admitted to hospital and is currently receiving treatment in isolation.

“Clinicians have already begun contact tracing, the process of gathering details of the places they have visited and the people they have been in contact with since returning to the UK,” said the Scottish Government.

“It is important to note that this does not involve people the patient may have passed on the street or in a shop as the risk in these situations is very low.

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

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

The SGoRR will meet again later tomorrow.

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

Sturgeon 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 practice 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.”

The positive test sample has been sent to Public Health England’s Colindale laboratory in London for a confirmatory test.

A dedicated advice line for people in Scotland who have concerns but are not displaying symptoms is in operation on 0800 028 2816.

A coronavirus is a type of virus. Typical symptoms include fever, a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune symptoms, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.