Scots should expect ‘rapid rise’ in coronavirus cases in coming days, warns Nicola Sturgeon

Impact of deadly virus in Scotland expected to worsen in coming days

Nicola Sturgeon has warned Scotland to expect to see the number of confirmed coronavirus cases to "rise rapidly" within days.Addressing a Scottish tourism conference in Glasgow, the First Minister said there was "understandable concern" about the impact the outbreak may have on the country's economy over the next few months.

But she warned that the country was facing a "serious situation" and told delegates "every single one of us has a part to play" in stopping the spread of the disease.

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Ms Sturgeon was speaking at the SEC hours after it emerged that two more cases had been confirmed in Scotland overnight, bringing the total to three.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the Scottish Government is preparing for a rapid increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the next few days. Picture: AFP via Getty Images

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Addressing the Scottish Tourism Alliance event, Ms Sturgeon said: "I know coronavirus is uppermost in the minds of many people. I've spoke to some people here this morning who say an impact is already identifiable. I appreciate the concern that many people have.

"As of this morning, we only have three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Scotland. But we are expecting and I think we should expect that number to rise rapidly in the days to come.

"We are now planning for what is likely to be a significant outbreak globally but also here in the UK and here in Scotland.

"We do face a serious situation and there is understandable concern about the impact this may have in the months to come on our economy general, on the tourism industry in particular.

"I appreciate that concern and the uncertainty that comes with that.

"I want to give an assurance that the government here in Scotland and the governments across the UK have been planning for outbreaks and situations like this on an ongoing basis.

"We've been planning for this particular situation since this infection was first seen in China towards the end of last year."

Ms Sturgeon told delegates she was very aware that politicians telling people how to wash their hands "does sound a little bit patronising."

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