Worry over Aberdeen lockdown extending into Shire

There’s anger and upset in equal amount in Aberdeen, not to mention the worry residents in the Shire now have as news leaks that they too have been tainted by the recent Covid-19 outbreak.

By John A. MacInnes
Monday, 10th August 2020, 10:01 am
Updated Monday, 10th August 2020, 10:08 am
Aberdeen is the first city in Scotland to be placed back into a general lockdown
Aberdeen is the first city in Scotland to be placed back into a general lockdown

The First Minister was forced into action last week as numbers of those affected in the City continued to rise, as did the list of locations.

Aberdeen is the first city in Scotland to be placed back into a general lockdown with all pubs and restaurants being required to close last Tuesday by 5pm.

The outbreak was believed to have started at The Hawthorn Bar in the city, but then travelled rapidly.

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian said: “We can confirm the number of cases detected in the Aberdeen cluster now stands at 134.

“We have identified and spoken to 728 close contacts. It should be noted these are confirmed close contacts for all our detected cases. 28 new cases have been detected in Grampian; we cannot confirm how many of them may be linked to this cluster.”

Dr Emmanuel Okpo, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: “This is a rapidly evolving situation but our message to the public remains the same.

“Please stick to the government guidance.”

However, NHS Grampian has come under attack for releasing a list of venues, which included Deeside and Aboyne Golf Clubs, as well as the Marine Hotel in Stonehaven.

Owner of the hotel, Robert Lindsay took to Twitter to slam NHS Grampian for releasing his hotel’s details without first informing him.

Dr Okpo commented further: “We compiled a list of venues visited by people testing positive.

“This list was shared in the interests of transparency, not to assign blame, to suggest a venue was a source of infection or to suggest everyone who attended these venues is at risk.

“We worked hard to communicate with those venues in advance of publishing the list and apologise unreservedly to those we did not reach.”

North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles said: “As the First Minister is taking this action to close cafes, pubs and restaurants that haven’t had any instances of Covid then she must compensate them in some way.

“I would suggest a payment to all those affected - that is the way to protect jobs in the Aberdeen economy.”

In her TV briefing on last Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she was acutely aware of the potential spread of this cluster into the Shire,

And could give no guarantees whatsoever that the current renewed lockdown in Aberdeen City would not be extended outward into other towns and villages now affected with an ever-increasing cluster of positive Covid-19 cases in the North-east.