Stirling SNP MP Alyn Smith and MSP Bruce Crawford are urging local people to follow the advice of health professionals following the first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) found in Scotland (Tayside area) over the weekend.
Over 700 screening tests have been carried out in Scotland since the outbreak began at the beginning of the year. Those who have spent 15 minutes or more within two meters of an infected person are being contacted by the NHS for precautionary screening.
There is not enough information currently available to know exactly how this new coronavirus spreads, however similar viruses spread by droplets in coughs and sneezes.
Current advice from NHS Scotland on reducing the risk of infection is:
- Avoid direct hand contact with eyes, mouth or nose.
- Maintain good hand hygiene, washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser: after coughing/sneezing; using the toilet; or before eating/drinking.
- Avoid direct contact with people who have a respiratory illness and avoid using their personal items, such as a mobile phone.
- Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a disposable tissue and disposing of it in the nearest waste bin after use.
There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine for COVID-19.
A helpline has been set up for people who do not have symptoms but are looking for general information: 0800 028 2816.
Those who think they may have the virus or have recently travelled to an affected area are encouraged to contact their GP or call NHS 24 on 111.
Alyn Smith MP said:
“Due to how interconnected a world we live in, it was only a matter of time before the new Coronavirus arrived here in Scotland – and my thoughts are with the person affected.
“There are a number of measures that people can take in order to significantly reduce the chances of catching the virus, all of which are generally good practice in maintaining hygiene.
“What’s important is not to panic but rather take the precautionary steps set out by health professionals.”
Bruce Crawford MSP commented:
“Scotland has been able to conduct hundreds of screening tests for Coronavirus in an efficient manner. This is the first case that has tested positive, however it is expected that there will be more.
“I’d like to commend the work of our health professionals who have had to put in extra effort to ensure that all that can be done is being done to reduce the spread of the virus in the country.
“Those who have potential symptoms should contact their GP or NHS 24 for advice – including if you have travelled to an area where the infection is rife.
“I would also encourage people to familiarise themselves with up to date advice from the NHS by visiting nhsinform.scot.”