Glasgow in lockdown as cases soar
MORE than 800,000 Scots were banned from meeting indoors last night as Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged the British public to remain ‘vigilant’ against infection.
A sharp rise in coronavirus cases resulted in Glasgow and surrounding areas reverting to meeting friends and relatives only outside.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the move after 66 new positive tests were recorded in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area yesterday.
The restrictions apply to people living in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.
It came as Mr Hancock warned the Commons that Britain must remain wary of a ‘second wave rolling across Europe’.
He added that, although the number of deaths from the virus was very low in the UK, hospitalisation rates were rising on the continent.
Mr Hancock said: ‘We must do everything in our power to protect against a second wave here in the UK.’
Referring to the latest daily figures showing there had been just two deaths and only 60 patients on ventilators – down from 3,300 back in April – he added: ‘ While these figures are low we must remain vigilant. I said in July that a second wave was rolling across Europe and sadly we’re now seeing an exponential rise in the number of cases in France and Spain. And the number of hospitalisations is sadly rising there too.’
Miss Sturgeon said yesterday’s measures had to be taken as transmission seemed to be occurring more often in homes than bars or restaurants. She was quick to dismiss the idea that schools had been responsible for the surge, adding a ‘very small number’ of school-age children had tested positive.
The measures are expected to remain in place for two weeks, but are subject to review after seven days. Home visits will be banned from midnight tomorrow.
Miss Sturgeon said: ‘ Over the past two days, we have seen 314 new cases in Scotland and 135 of these in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. If these numbers continue or – and this is the fear – they rise further, then more people will fall ill from Covid19 and more people will enter hospital and intensive care.’
Mr Hancock said the Government was launching an advertising campaign with the slogan, ‘hands, face, space and get a test if you have symptoms’. He added: ‘ The first line of defence is and always has been social distancing and personal hygiene. I’d like to thank the British public for everything they’ve done so far, but we must continue.’
■ Miss Sturgeon yesterday launched a fresh bid to break up the UK as she pledged to bring forward legislation to push through a second referendum.
She said there was ‘clearly’ not time to hold a second poll ahead of Scottish Parliament elections in May. But she pledged to bring forward draft legislation before then, paving the way for another divisive referendum after the elections.