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Coronavirus update: NHS Grampian issues a warning to Moray residents

By David Porter

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In Scotland in the last 24 hours there have been a total of 178 positive cases which equates to 0.8 per cent of those tested overall.

NHS Greater Glasgow saw 42 cases and NHS Lanarkshire 27 and NHS Lothian 21.

NHS Grampian reported 17 new cases while NHS Highland recorded 11 cases.

A warning has been issued to residents in Moray
A warning has been issued to residents in Moray

In the seven days to April 25 there were 15 new cases in Aberdeenshire (5.7 per 100,000), 32 in Aberdeen City (14.0 per 100,000) and 44 in Moray (45.9 per 100,000).

Five further deaths have been recorded in Scotland with Covid-19 confirmed in the last 24 hours.

To date in Scotland over 2,796,800 people have received the first dose of the Covid vaccination and over 1,184,620 people have received their second dose.

Today saw residents in Moray warned not to let the area get "left behind" as Scotland exits lockdown, amid rising Covid-19 cases.

Leading health, council and tourism figures met today to issue a warning to the public, with Moray having recorded more than 100 new coronavirus cases since April 10.

Moray currently has the fourth highest rate of Covid-19 per head of population in Scotland and is accounting for 50 per cent of the cases across the NHS Grampian region, despite being home to just 17 per cent of people.

Although cases are scattered across the region, Elgin has seen the majority.

NHS Grampian is now expanding testing and urging people to get one booked.

Susan Webb, NHS Grampian’s director of public health, said: “We really are on a worrying trajectory in Moray and it is vital everyone ensures they are sticking to the rules so the area isn’t left behind as the rest of the country unlocks.

“There is a real fear that, with unlocking and the May Day weekend, if individuals don’t act responsibly and stick with the guidelines they could create the perfect storm.

"Until now, Moray has escaped the worst of the pandemic but perhaps we are more complacent than other areas because of this.

“It is vital we get the virus back under control and don't let it run away from us.”

Sam Thomas, chief nurse for Moray, urged people to continue to work hard to suppress the virus.

She said: “Residents in Moray have done exceptionally well in protecting both themselves and the region’s health care to this point.

"It is vital that we don’t let that slip as we continue to work and live with Covid-19.

"It cannot be stressed enough how much controlling the spread has been allowing us to restart other parts of the health care system locally.

“Moray, to date, has had a lower number of cases than most regions in Scotland, seeing less community transmission and a high uptake of vaccination across the population, and it could well be as a result of this success that we have less immunity in the wider population and a higher susceptibility to the virus at this point.

“Ultimately, we have identified an increasing number of cases and we need to act now to ensure it does not continue to have a larger impact on the region and the services we provide.”

A number of cases have also been linked to education settings, with 28 cases confirmed at Elgin Academy as of yesterday.

NHS Grampian is continuing to offer rapid testing for people who do not have symptoms but have moved this to Williamson Hall on Moss Street, in Elgin, to make it more accessible.

Opening times and other locations in the region can be found at www.moray.gov.uk/Covid19.

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