Coronavirus in Glasgow: Professor Linda Bauld admits concerns over Glasgow covid outbreak 'red flag' ahead of easing of restrictions on Monday
A leading public health expert has described rising numbers of coronavirus cases in parts of Glasgow as “a red flag that needs to be dealt with” as the country prepares to ease restrictions.
The latest data shows there are 58.3 Covid-19 infections per 100,000 people, and Nicola Sturgeon has said the Scottish Government is closely monitoring the situation as most of Scotland moves to Level 2 in the route map out of lockdown on Monday (May 17).
On Wednesday, the First Minister tweeted: “We are seeing an increase in cases in Glasgow just now and, amidst concern about the so-called Indian variant, we are monitoring it very closely.”
Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Thursday, Linda Bauld professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, said: “There's three types of Indian variants that we're concerned about.
“The parts of Glasgow that are affected are in the south of the city. There are several postcode areas, as we heard yesterday from Linda de Caestecker, the director of public health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
“As we look ahead to Monday when there's going to be a lot of easing, questions will be asked about what we do to try and get on top of what looks like a cluster of outbreaks linked to household transmission.”
She added: “We need a robust response. In the past we perhaps have not acted early enough to get on top of outbreaks.”
Amid speculation the Glasgow outbreaks are being fuelled by the so-called ‘India variant’, Prof Bauld said it is important to find out which variant of coronavirus these cases are coming from.
She said: “A lot has happened over the last 48 hours in terms of data being released. I'm not going to speculate – genomic sequencing takes time – but there is suggestion that this variant may be even more transmissible than the so-called Kent variant.
“If that is the case then the test and protect response needs to be super-robust and we need to identify where these cases are.”
Asked if we may now see areas in Glasgow that can’t move to Level 2 on Monday, Prof Bauld remains “optimistic” but the situation is a cause for concern.
She said: “The number of cases yesterday, where we had over 300 cases... you know, we're back at now the beginning of April, and so just seeing these bumps does make me a bit worried.
“Nationally, I remain optimistic, but I think this is a red flag that needs to be dealt with.”
Meanwhile, weekly deaths from Covid-19 in Scotland have fallen to single figures for the first time since September last year, according to the latest data.
National Records of Scotland (NRS) figures show seven deaths related to coronavirus were registered between May 3 and May 9, down 12 on the previous week.
It is the lowest total in almost eight months.
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