CORONAVIRUS: LATEST NEWS IN SCOTLAND

SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron self-isolating amid coronavirus fears

March 13 at 4pm

Dr Lisa Cameron
Dr Lisa Cameron is an SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.

A Scots MP is self-isolating after showing symptoms of coronavirus, according to BBC Scotland.

Dr Lisa Cameron announced the move on Twitter and said she had been forced to cancel her constituency surgeries on medical advice.

In a separate development, the Scottish Football Professional League confirmed the remainder of the Scottish football season had been postponed indefinitely.

And a secondary school in South Lanarkshire has closed temporarily due to a Covid-19 case.

The individual from Lanark Grammar School is self-isolating at home and the school is due to reopen on Monday.

There have been 60 cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Scotland and the UK has moved into the “delay” phase in its response to the outbreak.

Restrictions in place

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday that widespread school closures were not yet necessary – but from next week restrictions would be placed on gatherings of more than 500 people.

She said this was designed to reduce the impact on the emergency services, rather then preventing the spread of the virus.

On Friday, Glasgow University said all exams due to be held in April and May would now be held remotely.

In a video message, Principal Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli said the coming weeks would be “extremely challenging for all of us”.

Dr Cameron, who had been in a debate with Tory mental health minister Nadine Dorries – who has tested positive for the virus – reported feeling fatigued and developed a dry cough and swollen glands.

The SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow tweeted: “Friday/ Saturday Surgeries Cancelled: Apologies for such short notice but after two NHS consultations tonight the out of hours doctor has confirmed I must self-isolate for one week. Hope to be feeling better soon. Thanks to all @NHSScotland for everything you do.”

Football postponements

The football postponements begin with Friday’s matches between Motherwell and Aberdeen, and Queen of the South’s against Ayr United.

They also include Sunday’s Rangers v Celtic match at Ibrox.

All domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA will be suspended, which includes the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

All elite football in England has been suspended until at least 3 April as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

A number of court cases in Scotland have already been disrupted because of coronavirus, including trials at the High Court in Glasgow and Forfar Sheriff Court.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said witnesses, jurors and lawyers should not attend court if they were displaying symptoms or have come into contact with someone with Covid-19.

Witnesses who are unfit should, if possible, obtain a “soul and conscience certificate” which can be emailed to the court, otherwise they risk being the subject of an arrest warrant.

The news came as fresh measures to delay the spread of coronavirus in Scotland were due to come into effect.

Where are the Scottish cases?

Health board Positive cases
Ayrshire and Arran 4
Borders 2
Fife 3
Forth Valley 6
Grampian 7
Greater Glasgow and Clyde 10
Lanarkshire 7
Lothian 11
Shetland 6
Tayside 4
Source: Scottish government

From Friday, people with symptoms of the virus – namely a fever or a new cough – are urged to stay at home for a period of seven days.

In addition, from Monday the Scottish government is recommending gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.

Earlier, national clinical director Jason Leitch, told BBC Scotland the guidance over mass gatherings had been a judgement call in order to ensure “we have all the staff and equipment we could possibly need” rather than a bid to halt the virus spreading.

Mr Leitch said there were no current plans to close schools and this would only change, “when we come to the point when science tells is it is the right thing to do”.

The NHS executive also urged people to continue attending blood banks, adding, “if they are not in the stay-at-home group, we need them to continue to give blood”.

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Lloyds Bank has closed one of its Edinburgh sites after a worker tested positive for coronavirus.

The Citymark office will be shut temporarily while it is cleaned, and staff have been asked to self-isolate, work from home or from an alternative site depending on their circumstances.

Lloyds said Citymark is a small operation and that their main Edinburgh office was not affected.

A company spokeswoman said: “Our priority is the wellbeing of the individual, as well as the colleagues and visitors to the building. We’re closely monitoring the developing situation and continue to follow official guidelines.”

Nicola Sturgeon announces advice that all overseas school trips will be cancelled.

Dr John Logan, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine, said the individual from Lanark Grammar School who has tested positive for Covid-19 was not giving cause for concern.

He said: “We would like to reassure all staff and parents that the risk of contracting coronavirus from this individual is very low.

“Our public health team is in the process of identifying and contacting the limited number of people who were in very close contact with the confirmed case and issuing public health advice.

The first case of coronavirus transmitted within the community was detected in Scotland on Wednesday.

There are now 798 confirmed cases across the UK and 10 people have died – all of them in English hospitals.

However, the UK government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has said the actual number of people infected could be between 5,000 and 10,000.

How is coronavirus affecting Scotland?

  • A number of operations are being rescheduled at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The Scottish Police Federation said contingency plans for a flu pandemic have been in place for decades. The full details will not be made public but as part of those plans there is likely to be a “significant re-prioritisation” of the types of incidents officers can attend.
  • The Scottish Prison Service said it is trying to operate business as normal and that visits, work parties and leisure access are continuing. Individual prisoners with symptoms have been asked to self-isolate in their cells for seven days.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest is asking all office staff to work from home from Monday “where practical to do so” to reduce risk of infection. This does not apply to branches which will remain open.
  • The SEC Campus in Glasgow, which includes the Hydro, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and the Armadillo, has published guidance for visitors on its website. A spokeswoman said the campus is hopeful that the majority of of any events affected will be able to reschedule to a future date. Major events cancelled already include the Scottish Golf Show and the Country to Country Festival.
  • The P&J Live arena in Aberdeen has also published advice for the public on its website but Sunday’s gig by Lewis Capaldi is scheduled to go ahead. The VisitScotland Expo, due to take place on 1 and 2 April, has been cancelled”.
  • The Ambassador Theatre Group, which runs the Playhouse in Edinburgh and the King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal in Glasgow, said the venues continue to operate as usual as they do not require the attendance of emergency services. But a spokeswoman added: “Should further guidance be issued, we would of course follow any new Scottish and UK government advice.”
  • The Edinburgh International Festival has cancelled its Edinburgh and London launch events on 18 March and will instead stream the event on Facebook Live.
  • The Scottish Green Party has cancelled its spring conference
  • Offshore oil and gas industry says installations will be placed on immediate “lockdown” if a worker on board tests positive for coronavirus
  • The VisitScotland Expo in Aberdeen, due to take place on 1 and 2 April, has been cancelled after a “significant number of cancellations”
  • Loganair has announced a reduction in its flights after a “marked drop” in bookings
  • The Who concert in Glasgow on 23 March is off after the band postponed its UK tour

As part of the new measures aimed at delaying the peak of the outbreak until the summer, people experiencing symptoms are being urged to stay at home for seven days, but not to call their GP or NHS 24 unless their condition deteriorates.

Those who have been in contact with someone who is experiencing symptoms should only stay at home if they also begin to experience symptoms.

Nicola Sturgeon said widespread school closures at this stage could be ineffective as young people might gather informally and still spread the virus.

She said there was also concern that closing schools as a precaution would lead to key workers staying off work to look after children.

She did, however, advise that all overseas school trips should be cancelled.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has said there will be no changes to the exam timetable “at present”.

It urged learners, parents, schools and colleges to “continue to prepare as normal”.

All current deadlines for coursework and other assessments remain in place and the exam timetable is currently scheduled to run from 27 April until 4 June.

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