Attributed to the new, highly transmissible Covid-19 strain, a CORONAVIRUS outbreak in a Scottish region has seen cases double in just two days.
As part of the outbreak associated with the Wigtownshire area of Dumfries and Galloway, the highly infectious B.1.1.7 strain was reported.
The number of cases with the latest version has risen from 64 on Boxing Day to 142 today.
This includes the highest increase in cases since the beginning of the pandemic in any region of Dumfries and Galloway – with an increase of 55 positive cases as a result of 154 tests carried out on Sunday in Stranraer.
On Christmas Eve, public health authorities announced that the B.1.1.Y strain had been associated with an outbreak in Wigtownshire, with another case found in the area of Lower Annandale.
In southeast England, the B.1.1.7 strain is up to 70 percent more transmissible and is believed to be responsible for a large increase in cases, and is believed to be responsible for an increase in cases across the UK.
It was reported on Sunday that there were 64 cases, but concerns emerged that many more had not yet been found. Approximately 12 workers and patients tested positive at Galloway Community Hospital.
Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders are now at Level 4 of the Scottish government’s coronavirus protection system, along with the rest of mainland Scotland.
Over the next week, from December 29 to January 4, additional tests will be performed daily in Stranraer.
“Public Health Interim Director Valerie White said, “We said only two days ago that we believe that there could be several cases of covid that have not yet been reported in Wigtownshire, and we would like to thank anyone who has symptoms and isolated themselves for testing.
This is a constantly changing situation, however, where we expect further cases to occur. There is a very significant question at the present rate of spread on how this would affect services.
“A certain proportion of newly diagnosed cases of Covid will become sick in the coming days, and the number of patients who need to go to the hospital is likely to rise – possibly affecting our ability to treat people who need help for reasons other than Covid – whether it’s heart attacks, strokes, car crashes, etc.
Therefore, it is important that everyone follow the guidelines of Level 4 and Information on the use of face coverings, hand hygiene, physical distance, and social contact.
“Covid doesn’t just impact those who get coronavirus or suffer the worst symptoms – at this rate of increase, the impact of its rapid spread could be felt by everyone in the entire community,” he said.
“Everyone really needs to think about what they can do to slow the spread. In particular, be aware of the threat on New Year’s Eve and consider the potential consequences both personally and for the entire community.”