A PERSON has been diagnosed with coronavirus in Scotland, it has been confirmed.

The patient, who has not been named, is a resident of the Tayside area and has recently travelled from Italy. They have been admitted to hospital and are receiving treatment in isolation

It means the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has leapt to 36, with 12 new patients were identified in England.

A statement from the Scottish Government reads: "Clinicians have already begun contact tracing, the process of gathering details of the places they have visited and the people they have been in contact with since returning to the UK.  

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"It is important to note that this does not involve people the patient may have passed on the street or in a shop as the risk in these situations is very low. Close contact involves either face to face contact or spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of an infected person."

Nicola Sturgeon has chaired a Scottish Government Resilience Committee meeting.

The First Minister will also take part in UK Government’s resilience (COBR) meeting this morning, which will be chaired by Prime Minister.

Sturgeon commented: "Our first thoughts must be with the patient diagnosed with coronavirus, I wish them a speedy recovery.

"Scotland is well-prepared for a significant outbreak of coronavirus but there is currently no treatment or vaccine.

"Early detection measures will continue to be vital in helping to prevent the spread of the virus.

"People have a vital role to play in helping us contain any outbreak by following the latest health and travel advice, and following basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing."

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There have been a total of 698 negative tests in Scotland since the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but further cases are expected, the Scottish Government said.

Health officials are to begin testing some people with flu-like symptoms for the virus even if they have not visited affected areas.

Scotland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said: "Hospitals and GP surgeries will now conduct tests on some patients with coughs, fevers or shortness of breath – regardless of whether they have travelled to a place where the virus is known to be spreading.

"Not everyone with flu will be tested, but this is a sensible step to take as a precautionary measure to give us an early warning of community transmission."

The stepping up of the testing regime has been described as a precautionary measure.

Using existing NHS monitoring measures, a network of 41 GP practices will start sending samples for testing from patients who report symptoms such as coughs, fevers or shortness of breath.

In addition, pneumonia patients in critical care units will also be tested for the virus.

The Scottish Government has implemented a range of measures including training Scottish Ambulance Service staff to support the transport of patients who may be infectious, and has delivered face masks to GP practices as a precautionary measure.