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Dumfriesshire residents thanked for cluster co-operation

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By Charlotte MacKay
Annan and Eskdale
Dumfriesshire residents thanked for cluster co-operation

Scotland's clinical director has thanked the public for complying with temporary restrictions designed to tackle a cluster outbreak of Covid-19 in the Annan and Gretna areas.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland (GMS) radio programme earlier today, Professor Jason Leitch said the public had done “a fantastic job” in response to the extension of a five-mile limit on non essential travel.

The restrictions were announced last week after 11 cases were identified in the Annan and Gretna areas, with some of those affected being identified as staff employed at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary. The extended restrictions apply to those living in the Dumfries, Lockerbie, Annan, Langholm, Canonbie and Gretna areas.

He said public health teams in Dumfries and Galloway and Cumbria had been constant contact over the weekend and that management of the cluster had “progressed well”.

Prof Leitch continued: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Gretna and Annan for doing everything they have done, for following the rules, particularly those with symptoms who are connected to those families.

“They have done a fantastic job, we cannot control these clusters if people do not help help us.”

An update on whether the localised restrictions will be lifted is expected later today, and Prof Leitch told GMS that the decision would be based on the latest data available.

He said: “We need to assess the data that we get from Dumfries and Galloway today so that we can see where we are in the ‘family tree’ of the virus.

“The risk in Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway, across that challenging border where the virus is moving around, are we convinced that the risk there is the same as the rest of the country or should we do something a little bit different just for another few days?

“The First Minister will make those choices during the day today.”

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