Coronavirus labs begin testing in Glasgow and Edinburgh

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Erin Steinmetz
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Testing laboratories, including one in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, are now fully operational.

Testing facilities for the coronavirus are now in operation in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

These laboratories are located at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and are fully operational, according to Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Catherine Calderwood.

In January, Dr. Calderwood released a statement warning it was “highly likely” a positive case would be found in Scotland, but assured that the country was “well prepared” for an outbreak.

Dr. Calderwood said: “Although we have yet to see a positive case in Scotland the NHS has been preparing for the possibility ever since the beginning of this outbreak.”

It has been confirmed that all 224 people examined for the Covid-19 strain have tested negative, according to a statement released by the Scottish government.

Dr. Calderwood has attributed the absence of positive cases to the NHS and Scottish health staff, as well as members of the public who have been diligent in following guidance to avoid the spread of the virus.

“Our staff across the NHS in Scotland have put in extraordinary work and I want to thank all health staff for their continued hard work and dedication during this rapidly evolving situation.I would also like to thank the number of people who have listened to advice and self-isolated – you’re playing an important part in keeping both yourselves and others safe and reducing the virus’s spread,” Dr. Calderwood said.

Health boards are currently debating if community-based testing is necessary. Dr. Calderwood advised against any unnecessary clinic visits.

According to guidance intended at preventing an outbreak of the Covid-19 strain drafted by Health Protection Scotland, GPs have been instructed to avoid face-to-face meetings with patients showing symptoms of the virus.

While there are currently nine confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK, no incidents of the virus have been found in Glasgow. To protect against infection, the World Health Organization says to wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this could transfer the virus.

For the health and safety of all residents, the Scottish government advises that people experiencing a fever, cough, or shortness of breath within 14 days of returning from affected areas to call their GP or NHS 24 immediately.