DON’T BE DAFT CORONAVIRUS WARNING TO NEW YEAR REVELLERS
Happy New Year – do your partying in the house this year and stay there. Pictures by Tom Gardiner
By Lucy Ashton
PUBLIC health consultants from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have warned New Year revellers to stay in and stay safe this weekend, amid great concern over recent very large increases in cases linked to the new variant of coronavirus.
Normally at this time of year, thousands of party-goers would be heading out on the town and to house parties to celebrate New Year and the final weekend of the festive season, but in an attempt to prevent an explosion of cases, people are being asked not to even think about this.
Dr Daniel Carter, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at NHSGGC, said staying in this weekend was of critical importance, now more than ever.
“There are very large increases in cases across GGC and particularly in areas such as Inverclyde which previously had relatively low levels,” he said. “This is due to people still mixing together and the new variant of the virus that spreads more easily. We urge everyone not to mix with anyone other than their own household at this time of such sharp increases in cases.
He went on to remind people that we will soon be able to be vaccinated and so this harsh warning is also at time when we can say it won’t be for much longer.
“Whilst these constraints are hard on everyone, they are there for a good reason – to protect you, your friends and your family.”
Earlier this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that the new variant – thought to spread much faster than the virus which first appeared in Scotland in the Spring – was quickly becoming the dominant COVID strain, and said Scottish Government advice to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS was more important than ever.
Dr Carter added: ““We are all painfully aware of the huge human cost that the virus has inflicted on the people across Scotland, and of all the important events which we have missed this year. With vaccination now being rolled out there really is some light at the end of the tunnel – but we are not there yet.
“Please keep that – and the safety of the most vulnerable in our society – in mind when you are deciding whether to go out or stay in this New Year.”
Dr Carter reminded people that, in addition to the current restrictions, the most effective way to keep us all safe from the virus was to follow the FACTS advice – wear a Face covering in enclosed spaces, Avoid crowded places, Clean hands and surfaces regularly, Two-metre distancing, and Self-isolate and seek a test immediately if you display symptoms.