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News | 12th March 2020
 

Region poised to deal with potential outbreak

 
 
 

All 33 tests for virus in Dumfries and Galloway are negative

A CO-ORDINATED approach is in place in Dumfries and Galloway to address the
likelihood of a national outbreak of coronavirus.
Since the first reports of the outbreak in China, the Health and Social Care Partnership has prepared a suite of arrangements in anticipation of the coronavirus reaching the UK.
Arrangements have been
developed by drawing on the well-established protocols to tackle communicable diseases.
A team spanning primary care, acute care and social care is meeting regularly to take forward these arrangements.
Information is being shared with the workforce and public who have a key role in helping to prevent its spread.
Current advice stresses the need to ensure good hygiene, regularly cleaning hands and using disposable tissues for coughs and sneezes.
It also directs people not to enter public areas such as GP practices if they feel there is a risk they may have been exposed to coronavirus, instead asking them to go home and either call their GP or NHS Inform on the free 111 number.
Negative
As of Tuesday, there have been 33 tests in the region and all have been negative.
It is likely that COVID-19 cases will be detected in the
region.
However, planning and preparations place the region in the best possible position to address the impact and ensure people receive care and support.
Dr Kenneth Donaldson, medical director, said: “For most people who become infected, this will be a mild illness but if there are large numbers of
infections, this is likely to place additional pressures on healthcare resources.
“There is a lot the public can do to help limit the spread of the infection and following
advice and supporting the partnership’s work with other
organisations will help ensure everyone can be helped if there are cases of COVID-19.”
Everyone can help by following public health authorities’ advice on handwashing; checking and following the latest travel advice when travelling and planning to travel; ensuring they and their family’s vaccinations are up to date.
This will help reduce the pressure on the NHS by reducing vaccine-preventable diseases; being understanding of the pressures the health and social care systems may be under and
receptive to changes which may be needed to provide care to them and their family.
Helpline
People also need to accept that the advice for managing COVID-19 for most will be self-isolation at home and simple over the counter medicines.
Updates on public health
advice for coronavirus are on the NHS Inform website and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice on 0800 028 2816.
For people planning to travel abroad, guidance is on
fitfortravel.
Where a COVID-19 risk is identified, country pages will be updated.
On Tuesday the Scottish
government said the total number of tests carried out was 2,234. Of those 2,207 were negative and 27 positive.

 
 
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