Jason Leitch has said it is “astonishing” the Coupar Angus Covid outbreak has not spread further, saying the willingness of workers to self-isolate has been crucial to controlling the virus.
The National Clinical Director admitted he had been worried by the outbreak, as he joined Nicola Sturgeon to praise the 2 Sisters factory workforce and their families for following the rules as a further 11 cases were reported.
At her daily coronavirus briefing, the first minister said there must be “very high compliance” among staff at the chicken factory, adding it was “very encouraging” that there was no community transmission at this stage.
This outbreak in NHS Tayside worried us but it has been astonishing to keep it as controlled as it has been.”
All workers and their families should continue self-isolating until Monday and if the incident management team (IMT) believed further action was required beyond that then fresh advice would be issued.
Professor Leitch said: “This outbreak in NHS Tayside worried us but it has been astonishing to keep it as controlled as it has been. The incident management team, the contact tracing team and the behaviour of the workers has been crucial in that control.
“But that doesn’t mean that if you have hundreds of people with the virus, some won’t get sick.”
During her briefing, Ms Sturgeon revealed there had been no new Scottish Covid deaths reported in the last 24 hours. In total 20,107 people have tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 51 from 20,056 the day before.
Joining the First Minister today is National Clinical Director Jason Leitch and Chief Constable Iain Livingstone. https://t.co/m24cyAprbh
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) August 28, 2020
Ten of those new cases were in Tayside, two were in Grampian, 14 were in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and three were in Lanarkshire.
Across the country, there were 255 people in hospital with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a decrease of two in 24 hours. Of these patients, three were in intensive care, up by one.
As far as the 2 Sisters outbreak was concerned, Ms Sturgeon said there were now 177 positive cases in the cluster. Of those, 157 were workers at the chicken factor and 20 were contacts of them.
That represented an increase of 11 in the past 24 hours and all of the new cases were members of the workforce.
“At this stage it remains the assessment that there has been no wider community transmission, which remains, obviously, very encouraging,” Ms Sturgeon said.
Ms Sturgeon said the lack of community transmission observed so far had been down to the “really good work” of the IMT and test and protect teams as well as “what must be very high compliance of the workforce and their household contacts in self-isolating”.
She added: “If the IMT think any further measures are required, particularly as we go into next week and the household isolation advice ends… we will give advice to that effect.”
Ms Sturgeon was asked about new Scottish Government data which showed risk of Covid transmission in Perth and Kinross was still higher than other local authorities.
The first minister said she would be surprised if that wasn’t the case given the scale of the Coupar Angus outbreak.
Two more cases in the last 24 hours were reported at Kingspark School, Dundee, taking the total to 36. Of those 22 were members of staff, 11 were contacts and three were pupils.
Ms Sturgeon said there was “no evidence at this stage” of community transmission.
There were 263 Covid cases associated with the Aberdeen pub cluster and the total number of cases in Grampian in the past month had risen to 447, an increase of 10 in the last 24 hours.
Ms Sturgeon added it “remained the view” that the Aberdeen outbreak was “under control”.