Man from Heriot Watt University tested for coronavirus and kept in isolation as advice issued to students

The coronavirus testing is being done as a 'precautionary measure.'

Coronavirus advice has been issued to students at Heriot Watt University after it emerged that a member of their community is undergoing tests for the killer bug.

The Evening News has seen an email sent to all 10,500 Edinburgh-based students which says the person concerned is being kept in isolation and is undergoing tests as a "precautionary measure."

The email reads: "Dear students,

An email has been sent to students at Heriot Watt University.

"I want to keep you updated that a member of our University community based at the Edinburgh Campus is undergoing tests for the coronavirus. Let me reassure you that the risk remains low and the University is operating as normal.

"As a precautionary measure, the individual is in isolation and we will update you when we know the results of this test. We would also like to stress that the wellbeing, privacy and anonymity of the affected person remains paramount and we ask people to respect that."

A Heriot Watt University spokesman confirmed the person being tested is male and that the email was sent out on Thursday afternoon.

Ann Marie Dalton-Pillay, secretary of the University, said: "A member of our University community at our Edinburgh Campus is in precautionary self-isolation while they await the results of a test for coronavirus.

“The health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors is of paramount importance and I would like to offer reassurance that nothing has been confirmed at this time.

“The University remains open as usual and we will notify our students and staff of the outcome of the test once it is known. We are offering support and guidance to everyone in our Global Heriot-Watt community and continue to monitor the situation here in Scotland closely with Health Protection Scotland who are managing the situation."

It comes after Queen Margaret University sent out an email recently after a member of their community developed flu-like symptoms upon returning from Thailand. As a precautionary measure, this person was also advised to remain at home for a period of 14 days.

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And the Evening News revealed on Thursday that health bosses are looking for sites to set up isolation centres to cope with the coronavirus after 65 people in the region were tested for the infection in the past three weeks.

All the results came back negative, but NHS Lothian is stepping up preparations for the possible spread of the virus, including the plans for isolation centres.

The coronavirus has so far claimed over 1000 lives and there are over 40,000 known cases in 27 countries around the world.

Coronavirus testing doubles

Earlier this week it emerged that the number of people in Scotland tested for coronavirus doubled in 48 hours, according to the latest figures.

Statistics published by the Scottish Government on Tuesday afternoon show 82 people in Scotland have been tested and all returned negative results.

This is up from 41 tests on Sunday and 57 on Monday, and follows labs being set up at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to test patients in Scotland.

Scotland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said while there have been no confirmed cases north of the border so far there is a "high likelihood" a patient will test positive for the disease in future.

Many of the UK cases are linked to businessman Steve Walsh, who in a statement from hospital said he is "fully recovered" and praised the NHS.

The 53-year-old, from Hove in East Sussex, contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore and is linked to at least five further cases in the UK, including two doctors.

He stopped at a French ski chalet on his way back to the UK, where five Britons were subsequently infected with the virus, and is also linked to a case in Majorca.

The World Health Organisation named the virus Covid-19 on Tuesday afternoon.