THE first case of coronavirus in Scotland has been confirmed.
The patient is a resident of the Tayside area, the Scottish Government has confirmed tonight.
They had recently travelled back to Scotland from Italy, where 34 people have died from the Covid-19 virus.
Just under 700 negative tests were confirmed in the country earlier today before the first patient was diagnosed.
Medics are now gathering details of the places the patient has visited since returning to Scotland in a bid to contain the outbreak.
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR) this evening and will be taking part in the UK Government’s resilience (COBR) meeting chaired by the Prime Minister tomorrow morning to ensure all necessary steps are being taken to prepare for further expected cases in Scotland. SGoRR will meet again later tomorrow.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Our first thoughts must be with the patient diagnosed with coronavirus, I wish them a speedy recovery.
“Scotland is well-prepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus but there is currently no treatment or vaccine. 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 the person who has been diagnosed, and with their family. I would like to thank all the health professionals who continue to be involved in their care and treatment.
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“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 in Wuhan.
“This is peak season for respiratory and flu-like illness. There will be people presenting with symptoms of acute respiratory illness but these cases are highly unlikely to be coronavirus (COVID-19).
“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.”
Chaired a meeting of @scotgov Resilience Committee tonight to ensure all necessary steps being taken. Confirmation of a positive case is not unexpected and we are likely to see more in days ahead. Preparations to deal with what might be a significant outbreak are well advanced. https://t.co/uP6FMZv4cs
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 1, 2020
There have been a total of 698 negative test results in Scotland since the start of the outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Scotland had been the only UK country not to have any confirmed cases before tonight.
But the number of UK-wide confirmed cases now sits at 36, with 13 confirmed today.
In Italy, the number of confirmed cases has risen to almost 1,700, with a number of sporting events being cancelled including Serie A football matches and Six Nations rugby.
We told last week how Scots holidaymakers were holed up in quarantine at a hotel in the Canary Islands after a man was diagnosed with the virus.
They were among 160 British tourists stuck at Tenerife’s H10 Costa Adeja Palace Hotel following the outbreak – as the resort was locked down by police.
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