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Two new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed in Scotland including a patient in the Grampian area.

By David Porter

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Two further patients in Scotland have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to three the Scottish Government has confirmed today.

Both patients are currently clinically well and are receiving appropriate clinical care.

Due to patient confidentiality no further details are being published.

One patient is resident in the Grampian area, the second patient is resident in the Ayrshire area.

One patient has recently travelled to northern Italy and the other has had contact with a known positive case – this contact was not with the first positive case confirmed in Scotland.

Clinicians have begun contact tracing, the process of gathering details of the places they have visited and the people they have been in contact with.

It is important to note that this tracing process does not involve people the patients 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.

Those at risk of infection will be contacted by health protection teams for further advice.

Those who are not contacted are not at risk.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Our first thoughts must be with the patients diagnosed with coronavirus, I wish them a full and speedy recovery.

“We expect the number of cases to rise and Scotland is well-prepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus.

"There is currently no treatment or vaccine so 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 those who have been diagnosed, and with their families.

“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.

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

Scottish Laboratories will send all positive samples to Public Health England’s WHO designated Colindale laboratory for confirmatory testing.

Commenting on the news MP for Banff and Buchan, David Duguid said: “It was inevitable that we would start to see cases of COVID-19 or Coronavirus in Grampian.

“There are clear procedures in place to deal with this and our local health board will be well prepared.

“It is important for people across the north-east to follow the advice from government on hand-washing as the best way to prevent and slow the spread of Coronavirus.

“The UK and Scottish governments and the NHS are working around the clock to fight this.

“It is imperative that anyone who thinks they may be developing symptoms to follow clinical advice and contact NHS 24 rather than go to A&E.”

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