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11th March 2020

The World Health Organisation has declared a public health emergency of international concern, and in response, the four UK Chief Medical Officers changed the UK risk level from low to moderate.  This does not mean that the risk to individuals has increased, and it does not mean that any additional precautions are necessary. The increase to moderate is a reflection of the need for governments and the health service to escalate our planning and preparation in case of a more widespread outbreak.

Based on the current position in regards to the coronavirus, the key messages for the general public are:

  • If you have travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the previous 14 days and are experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should to stay indoors, call your GP or if your surgery is closed ring NHS 24 (111) informing them of your symptoms and your recent travel. Do not leave home until you have been given advice by a clinician.
  • This is peak season for respiratory and flu-like illness. There will be cases presenting with symptoms of cough, fever and shortness of breath, but these are highly unlikely to be novel coronavirus.
  • The public can be assured that Scotland is always well prepared for these types of outbreak and will remain vigilant. We have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues and have established public health and infectious disease experts working round the clock.
  • To protect yourself and others, it is best to:
    • To kill germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.
    • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
    • Bin the tissue.
  • For the latest public information on coronavirus visit www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus
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