Covid: D&G residents should be 'cautious' but not 'scared', says Leitch

Contingency plans are in place to provide hospital care for Covid-19 patients in Dumfries and Galloway if infection rates continue to rise, according to Scotland's National Clinical Director.

Professor Jason Leitch was responding to a question from our Political Editor Peter MacMahon, who asked whether further restrictions will be imposed in the region and extra testing in Stranraer.

Leitch said members of the public should be "cautious" but should not be "scared" that the health service was not prepared.

He said: "Dumfries & Galloway went from almost no cases to the highest in the country in three weeks. That's the nature of this virus. However, people should be cautious in Dumfries & Galloway but inside your question Peter, they shouldn't be scared.

"The hospital both has its own capacity and we have mutual aid across the whole country. Ayrshire and Arran, Glasgow, is available for patients in Dumfries & Galloway if they need intensive care or further care inside there."

Credit: ITV News

It comes as NHS Dumfries and Galloway made the 'difficult decision' to postpone non-urgent, non-cancer procedures due to a significant rise in coronavirus cases.

Stranraer currently has the highest coronavirus infection rate than any other Scottish town.

The infection rate in the region currently stands at 425.2 per 100,000 people in the area, the second highest rate in Scotland after Inverclyde.