A Dundee health centre has closed its doors to the public today, as the coronavirus crisis worsens.
Doctors at Hillbank Health Centre in the Hilltown took the decision to shut the practice to the public this morning, as the virus spreads further across Tayside and wider Scotland.
A receptionist said the surgery would be operating a triage service – treating patients based on the degree of urgency or severity of illness.
Several medical practices in Perthshire have also closed amid growing concerns.
Queues of patients were turned away by staff wearing facemasks at the Glover Street Medical Centre in Perth this morning, with a notice in the window saying the centre was closed, with telephone consultations only, “by NHS Tayside order”.
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A post from Atholl Medical Centre in Pitlochry on Facebook said: “As per NHS Tayside, the practice is now closed until further notice. Please do not attend the surgery unless instructed to do so by a clinician.
“All routine appointments will be cancelled. For anyone with an emergency, you can still call the practice, but you will be given a call back by a clinician and given advice over the phone.”
Similar but differently worded messages have been issued by other surgeries including Perth Medical Centre and Carse Medical Practice, based in Errol.
NHS Tayside has been approached for comment about the closures.
The news comes amid closures to schools in Scotland, including Dunblane and Perth.
Both Westminster and Holyrood are constantly reviewing the worsening situation as they prepare for closures to other public buildings, events and gatherings, including Scottish football matches.
At present, advice from the UK and Scottish Governments for people who have developed symptoms including a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature in the last seven days, are that they should stay at home for seven days from the start of the symptoms – even if they think the symptoms are mild.
Patients should phone their GP or NHS 24 on 111 if their symptoms are severe or they have shortness of breath, if they worsen during home isolation, or if they have not improved after seven days.
They should also phone their doctor or NHS 24 if they develop breathlessness or it worsens, especially if the patient is 60 years old or over; have underlying poor health; have heart or lung problems; have a weakened immune system or have conditions including cancer and diabetes.