Nicola Sturgeon: Covid-19 cases linked to Lanarkshire call centre have risen to 20

All Sitel workers have been told to self-isolate and to get tested, says First Minister.

A total of 20 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in connection with an outbreak at a call centre in Lanarkshire, the First Minister has said.

Speaking at the Scottish Government's daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon said 15 positive cases have been identified of people who work at the Sitel premises at Eurocentral, where staff work on Track and Trace for NHS England.

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A further five family members and close contacts of workers have tested positive, she added.

A further five family members and close contacts of workers at Sitel call centre have tested positive for Covid-19.

Ms Sturgeon said since the outbreak emerged on Sunday, all Sitel workers have been told to self-isolate and to get tested.

As of Wednesday morning, 390 test results out of 400 overall have been returned.

The First Minister listed five premises in locations around Lanarkshire and Glasgow that Sitel staff who have tested positive were linked to before they were aware they had the virus.

These are Owen's Bar in Coatbridge; the Railway Tavern and Merlins Bar in Motherwell; Costa Coffee in Carfin, and End Clothing in Glasgow.

Thanking these places for their co-operation, Ms Sturgeon said they have been checked by environmental health and measures in place such as protective equipment and cleaning mean the "risk of transmission is therefore low”.

She added: “I also ask people who might have attended these locations over the last week or so to be extra vigilant, to follow all guidance and to isolate and book a test if you do experience any symptoms.

“I'm saying this not because I think there is a real concern of transmission there but simply as an added precaution.

“This outbreak though should be a very clear reminder to all of us that Covid hasn't gone away.

“It doesn't take much for very small numbers of cases to become much bigger numbers."

She praised the work of Test and Protect workers and public health teams working to contain outbreak, adding: “Each and every one of us has a part of play in keeping this virus at bay.”

Earlier, Deputy First Minister John Swinney reminded Scots of the importance of physical distancing in the wake of the Sitel outbreak.

One employee at the Sitel site revealed staff did not always follow rules around physical distancing - requiring people to stay two metres apart from others.

Mr Swinney told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: “It demonstrates there is a very serious situation in this facility where something has clearly gone badly wrong in the arrangements, the working arrangements, in the Sitel facility resulting in such an outbreak.”

Ms Sturgeon told the briefing of the 10 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Scotland between Tuesday and Wednesday, provisional figures indicate three are in Lanarkshire and one is linked to the Sitel outbreak.

A total of 18,484 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in Scotland, she added.

Dr David Cromie, NHS Lanarkshire's consultant in public health medicine, said: “NHS Lanarkshire's public health team believe the risk to the public of Covid-19 is extremely low.

“If you have visited any of the locations and don't have any symptoms, then you are not being asked to isolate.

“However, we would ask you to be vigilant and follow public health advice.”

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