Possible coronavirus ‘cluster’ in Glasgow area

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A possible coronavirus “cluster” is being investigated in the Glasgow area after 14 new cases were reported there, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The new cases were among 22 reported across Scotland over the last 24 hours.

The first minister said it was thought the possible cluster could be linked to a specific location.

But she said no further details would be given before an incident management team meeting later on Wednesday.

The first minister said NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was investigating whether the cases were linked, with contact tracing also under way.

She has previously said localised outbreaks of the virus are all but inevitable, following clusters in North Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

However the first minister said the “test and protect” system was working well, with the number of people being treated in hospital for Covid-19 remaining low.

An incident management team will meet later on Wednesday to assess the possible cluster in the Greater Glasgow area, with Ms Sturgeon saying more information would be available after that.

She said initial information suggested the possible cluster was “associated with a particular location”, adding: “Part of the challenge we have around any potential cluster is to make sure everything possible that can be done to minimise onward transmission is done.”

The first minister said people should be assured that “any suggestion of any links between cases or possible clusters or outbreaks are absolutely rigorously explored, investigated and dealt with”.

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News of the possible cluster came as the National Records of Scotland said the number of deaths linked to coronavirus had increased very slightly, with Covid-19 mentioned on eight death certificates in the week to Sunday.

This was an increase of two deaths from the six that were recorded the previous week.

Ms Sturgeon said numbers were likely to fluctuate at such a low level, pointing out that the overall number of deaths in Scotland was below the five-year average.

However she said her government was likely to “adopt a very cautious approach” at the next review of lockdown restrictions on Thursday.

She said “very significant changes” had been made in recent weeks, with the hospitality and tourism industries reopening, and said it was “still too early to be completely assured” of the impact of this.

Ms Sturgeon said it was important not to “do too much too quickly and give the virus the chance to overwhelm us again”.

The first minister is expected to give further details of when and how Scotland’s schools will re-open on Thursday.

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