The announcement was made yesterday by the UK’s four chief medical officers, who noted there was a “low but real possibility” of infectiousness up to nine days after the onset of the illness.
Reacting to the development, NHS Dumfries and Galloway consultant in public medicine Dr Nigel Calvert said: “Self isolation plays such an important role in helping to stop the spread of coronavirus, and we’ve seen this first-hand within Dumfries and Galloway. We’re so grateful that people do self isolate, and with this extension from seven days to ten days it’s important we remember that this move is to ensure the full effectiveness of this action and that self isolation is an act which protects our friends, our neighbours and our wider communities.”
Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith is a co-signatory on the statement which introduced and explained the extension to the self-isolation period. The statement reads: “In symptomatic people, COVID-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin.
“Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with COVID who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset. We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.”
Anyone experiencing any symptoms – such as a cough, high temperature or loss of smell – should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/