Lothians covid rise 'not due to big rule breaking'

The Lothians has seen a rise in cases in the past two weeks.The Lothians has seen a rise in cases in the past two weeks.
The Lothians has seen a rise in cases in the past two weeks.
A rise in cases in areas including the Lothians is due to low level community transmission and not ‘big rule breaking’, Jason Leitch has told MSPs.

Professor Leitch said that a rise in cases in some parts of Scotland did not appear to be because people were breaking lockdown rules in a major way and was due to the prevalence of the virus in the local community.

The Lothians has seen a slight rise in cases in the past two weeks, while numbers overall in Scotland have continued to fall. Other ‘hotspots’ include East Ayrshire and Falkirk.

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A new walk-through testing centre has been opened in Niddrie in Edinburgh, where cases are currently at a higher level than in other parts of the Capital.

Prof said: “There are community transmission hotspots around the country. We can send in more case finding machinery such as mobile testing units. We can talk to those communities via the local authorities. Then test and protect is active, functioning and its response times are really good.

“Of course, it relies on human beings, individual behaviour. There's only so much we can do about that, and that's about communication, it's about trusted voices and it's about being inside those communities, to try and help them understand what it is.”

He added: “It doesn't appear at a superficial level to be big rule breaking occasions - we we still get some of that, there are house parties and we have mechanisms of dealing with that - but it appears to be just a low level of community transmission, people maybe just drop their guard, and even if you follow the rules, you can still catch the virus. That’s why at this stage in the pandemic, the rule is behave as though you’ve got it.”

Mairi Gougeon, minister for public health and sport, said: “The walk through testing centre in Edinburgh Niddrie is the 32nd site across Scotland and will further increase our testing capacity ahead of potential spikes as we move through winter.

“Centres like this can be operational in a matter of days, and we are working at pace with NHS National Services Scotland and local authorities to roll out more across the country so that more people have access to local testing.”

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