Health Chief issues stark plea amid coronavirus outbreak in Wigtownshire
People in Dumfries and Galloway have been issued with a stark warning by a public health official, after cases in a coronavirus outbreak in the region doubled over 48 hours.
The 64 cases of the new B.1.1.7 Covid-19 variant identified in Wigtownshire on Boxing Day have now surged to 142 cases.
The strain has also been identified in lower Annandale.
Interim Director of Public Health, Valerie White, said: "This is a rapidly evolving situation where we expect to see more cases appearing.
“At the current rate of spread, there is a very serious concern about how this will impact on services.
"In the days to come, a percentage of people among these newly diagnosed Covid cases will grow ill and the number of people needing hospitalisation is likely to increase - potentially impacting on our ability to provide help to those people who need it for any number of other non-Covid reasons - whether that's heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, etc.
"It's therefore vital that everyone follows the level four directions and the FACTS guidance about use of face coverings, hand hygiene and physical distancing and social interaction.
"Covid does not just impact on those who develop the coronavirus, or who experience the worst of its symptoms - at this rate of increase, the effect of its rapid spread could be felt by anyone across the entire community."
She asked the public to "consider the potential consequences both personally and community-wide".
The B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19 is up to 70 per cent more transmissible than other strains, and caused a surge in cases in south east England.
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