Coronavirus: Confirmed number of cases in Scotland rises to 11


The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Scotland has risen to 11, including the first confirmed case in the Lothian area, the Scottish Government have said.

New areas of infection also include Tayside, Ayrshire and Arran, according to the figures published on Friday at 2pm.

There are now 163 confirmed cases across the UK, while a second person has reportedly died from coronavirus in England.

The man, who was in his 80s, passed away while being treated at Milton Keynes Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

The number of confirmed cases across the world has also passed 100,000.

In Edinburgh, shops and pharmacies have seen shortages of face masks and hand sanitiser as public fears over the outbreak grow.

Janette Currie, who works at the Bruntsfield pharmacy Paton & Finlay, said there has been no indication of when their next delivery will arrive due to supplier shortages.

“I’ve had hundreds of people in since the beginning of the week looking for hand sanitisers. We’ve sold thousands of face masks, and now we can’t get them from the suppliers,” Currie told EN4 News.

“People are panicking; anything that they think is going to do the job, they’re using it.”

Earlier this week, the Scottish Government said a “reasonable worst-case scenario” could see 50 to 80% of the Scottish population contract coronavirus.

However, Helen McCardle, health correspondent for The Herald, has told EN4 News that the figure “doesn’t really add up” and has suggested the Scottish Government has been “disingenuous” with its statement.

She said: “What I thought was unusual about that is that when you go away and you look at the latest figures from the World Health Organisation, and you look at China and Hubei province, which of course is the epicentre of it, and you calculate the number of cases they’ve had so far against the population, you end up with a rate of 0.1%.

“I spoke to a couple of experts, one of them being Hugh Pennington [emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University], and another expert in data science from Edinburgh University, and the view of both of them is that what the Scottish Government was presenting wasn’t really realistic because it was based on the idea of there being no containment policies put in place.

“If we get to the stage where we get hundreds of cases in Scotland, at that point of course there are going to be containment measures put in place. We’re going to consider closing schools, maybe changes to public transport, people working from home.

“So that’s why the 50-80% figure doesn’t really add up. The other side to that which the Scottish Government are being a bit disingenuous about is they present that 50-80% figure and say we’re well-equipped and well-resourced in the NHS to cope with that, which we wouldn’t be.”

Cases of coronavirus have passed 3,000 in Italy, with schools and universities closed for the next 10 days.

Daniele, a resident of San Donà di Piave in the north of Italy, spoke to EN4 News about the government measures.

“In Italy, some people are panicking and are very worried about the situation,” she said. “They are staying inside their homes and are avoiding all social contact. While there are other people who think there isn’t anything to worry about it and everything has been too exaggerated.

“We have had a shut-down of schools and public places. I work in a cinema, and it will be at least a month until we are able to open again. The Government have told us to always wash our hands and avoid being too close to people. There is a one-meter distance we are supposed to keep, at all costs.”

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