Coronavirus: Concern over virus cases in Glasgow area

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Talks will be held to decide if action is needed to tackle the spread of coronavirus cases in the Glasgow area, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The first minister said 66 of the 154 new cases reported in Scotland had been in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.

She said this was “causing us some concern” and that further analysis was being carried out.

Ms Sturgeon will chair a meeting of the Scottish government’s resilience committee on Tuesday afternoon.

The first minister said it would discuss whether “further action” is necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

The latest figures published by the Scottish government showed that 66 new cases were recorded by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC), while 27 were detected by NHS Lanarkshire.

The rate of new positive cases over the first two weeks in August had averaged eight per day in NHS GGC.

The overall figure represents 1.2% of those tested, and brings the total number of cases to 20,632.

Contact tracing is continuing for identified clusters in Glasgow, Forth Valley and the Highlands.

Could Glasgow and its surrounding areas face new lockdown rules?

  • The first minister’s concern stems from the soaring numbers of positive cases taking NHS GGC closer to the same point where local restrictions were introduced in Aberdeen.
  • In a paper submitted to its 25 August board meeting, NHS GGC points out the local lockdown in Aberdeen was triggered at about 30 cases per day, the equivalent to a rate of 14 cases per 100,000 population.
  • A similar incidence within NHS GGC would equate to 84 cases notified on a single day – 18 more than the latest number of daily cases reported on Tuesday.
  • The health board, according to its 25 August board paper, was planning to ensure capacity in its test and protect team for an average of 40 daily cases with a daily variation capable of responding to a spike of up to 80 cases.
  • Any fresh restrictions on the NHS GGC area are significant because it serves 1.14 million people, about 20% of Scotland’s total population, and covering six local council areas – East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.
  • Lockdowns have also been introduced in places with similar populations to Greater Glasgow. In July, measures were put in place in Greater Manchester to stop separate households mixing. The types of restrictions varied from area to area and are now being lifted despite concerns about recent spikes.
  • The Greater Glasgow area has seen a number of localised clusters in recent weeks including ones in a pharmacy, schools and Low Moss prison.