Glasgow 2014: More Games staff ill with norovirus

The Commonwealth Games athletes' village in Glasgow as sickness and diarrhoea thought to be the norovirus bug breaks out at the village. Picture: PA
The Commonwealth Games athletes' village in Glasgow as sickness and diarrhoea thought to be the norovirus bug breaks out at the village. Picture: PA
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THE number of security workers struck down by an outbreak of norovirus at the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village has risen to 53.

Five new cases emerged on Saturday in addition to the 48 that had shown symptoms in the previous days, with the likely source of the bug being identified as a temporary toilet facility.

Public health officials said the number of new cases of the gastrointestinal bug was declining and the toilet, used by a small number of workers, had been closed.

No athletes or team officials have reported symptoms.

Dr Gillian Penrice, consultant in public health medicine for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “As we would expect, the number of new cases is continuing to decline.

“Staff who have been symptom-free for 48 hours are starting to return to work, and those who are still experiencing mild symptoms are not giving any cause for concern as a result of the virus.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that singer Susan Boyle and Scotland football manager Gordon Strachan will carry the Queen’s Baton in Glasgow as the city counts down to the Games.

The baton, which contains a message from the Queen, will arrive in the city today.

Boyle, who rose to fame on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, will carry the baton at Yorkhill Royal Hospital for Sick Children in the city tomorrow, while Strachan will take the baton at Hampden Park stadium the next day.

Security costs for the Games have trebled to £90 million.

The operation, the biggest yet staged in Scotland, will be led by Police Scotland and also includes the armed forces, prison officers, transport police and private security firms.

The budget was originally about £30m but has risen since December 2012, with additional government funding and money from the Games contingency fund used to help make up the increase.

Extra costs were incurred after police were asked to take primary responsibility for security and as a result of “key lessons learned” from the London Olympics, said Shona Robison MSP, the Commonwealth Games minister.

Organisers want Glasgow 2014 to be known as the “friendly Games”, but transport and entry to each venue will be tightly controlled, with X-ray machines and scanners.

The operation is being managed from a 24-hour control centre in Govan and a total of 17 private security firms will be involved.

David Leather, the Games’ chief operations officer, said the event, which starts this Wednesday, would have “unprecedented security”.

Some police officers are said to be unhappy with the long hours and reduced time off they will have around the Games, but senior officers want to ensure all aspects of the event run smoothly.

Deputy Chief Constable Steve Allen, security director for the Games, said: “We prepare against a very detailed threat and risk assessment, which takes us all the way from terrorist incident through to other forms of criminal activity.”

About 2,000 military personnel will help provide venue security as well as performing ceremonial roles at the event, including a Red Arrows fly-past at the opening ceremony.

Around 900 personnel will be provided by the army, with 300 each from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. A further 900 people will be held in reserve.

New regulations covering airspace will remain in place until 6 August.