Coronavirus in Scotland: how likely is the illness to reach Scotland, as the UK confirms its eighth case?

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Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK are so far up to ninr.

The Scottish Government confirmed they are establishing new testing facilities for possible cases of novel coronavirus as another person in the UK tested positive.

Tourists wear face masks as they visit Edinburgh Castle (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Tourists wear face masks as they visit Edinburgh Castle (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

So far, Scotland has avoided any cases, but just how likely is it that the virus could move north of the border Scotland?

How likely is it that the virus comes to Scotland?

“Although all Scottish tests have so far been negative, we are prepared for the high likelihood that we will also see a positive case in Scotland,” said Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, who welcomed the introduction of testing facilities north of the border.

“Ever since the beginning of this global outbreak we have been working hard to develop a testing facility within Scotland.

(Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

"I am pleased that we will now have two Scottish facilities, greatly reducing the time it takes to confirm negative results.”

Dr Calderwood told Good Morning Scotland that it was "just a matter of time" before a positive case of coronavirus was confirmed in Scotland.

"We are asking people who have returned from those areas of south-east Asia to be aware of symptoms - shortness of breath or a cough or a fever," she added. "And, if they have symptoms, to self-isolate and ring either a GP or NHS 24 and we will give instructions on what to do."

These areas include mainland China, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Macao.

What measures are in place?

“Our NHS is well equipped to deal with infections of this kind,” said Dr Calderwood. “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.”

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs MSP said: “Given the likelihood of a positive test in Scotland for the Coronavirus, it’s only right that these facilities are set up.

“Many Scots will undoubtedly be concerned about the spread of the virus, so it’s important that the Scottish Government does all it can to combat it.

“Being able to process tests quickly and efficiently is a huge part of this, and setting up these two laboratories will undoubtedly help.”

From 10 February two laboratories – one in Edinburgh and the other in Glasgow – began to process all coronavirus tests from Scotland.

Previously all samples had been sent to London for testing, but the new Scottish facilities will mean test results can be returned quicker.

The plan is for existing NHS laboratories based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh are being equipped with the technology to test for novel coronavirus.

Should a test result come back positive, the sample will be sent to Public Health England’s Colindale laboratory in London for a confirmatory test.

Should I be worried?

If the coronavirus does make its way to Scotland, the chances of you being infected – let along dying from the virus – are very low indeed.

Comparing infection rates In China, where the virus remains most widespread, there have been 74,185 confirmed cases among a population of close to 1.5 billion people.

That means just 0.005 per cent of the Chinese population are currently confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus.

Then there's the fatality rate. If you do catch coronavirus, just how likely are you to succumb to its effects?

At the time of writing, of the 75,302 confirmed cases across the world, 2,014 people have died.

That’s a percentage of just 2.7 per cent, which means you have a three in 100 chance of dying from the coronavirus.

How can I help?

“There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading,” says the NHS’ website.

“Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

“Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

“Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

“Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

“If you have arrived back from China or specified areas in the last 14 days, follow the advice on this page for returning travellers.”