Dumfries and Galloway sees new record for number of coronavirus cases in a single week

By Stuart Gillespie

Dumfries and Galloway has recorded a record number of new coronavirus cases for the second week running.

Health bosses say there were 2,906 confirmed cases in the week ending January 12, up slightly from 2,825 the week before.

Director of public health, Valerie White, is urging everyone – particularly 12 to 17-year-olds – to make sure they are fully vaccinated.

She said: “Vaccination uptake has been fantastic, with so far 86 per cent of eligible adults over 18 in the region having received their booster. However, we need people aged 12 to 17 and their families to know that they must attend one of the drop-in clinics in order to receive their second dose.

“Being fully vaccinated provides the highest degree of protection against a virus that is now in all of our communities.”

Vaccination slots can be booked by visiting https://vacs.nhs.scot/csp or calling 0800 030 8013. There are also drop-in clinics taking place across the region and details of those can be found at www.nhsdg.co.uk/vaccines.

Meanwhile, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced restrictions on numbers at outdoor events will come to an end on Monday.

A limit of 500 people was introduced last month amid concern over the Omicron coronavirus variant.

However, Ms Sturgeon told Holyrood on Tuesday that “as the situation might be starting to improve”, the limit would be removed.

People attending such events will require to be fully vaccinated – which means they must have had a third jab if their second dose was more than four months ago.

Other restrictions introduced in December, such as social distancing in pubs and restaurants and limits on indoor events, will remain in place for the time being.

However, Ms Sturgeon added she hopes they can be removed from January 24.

She added: “It is very likely that the situation we face now, though serious, would have been even more challenging without the renewed sacrifices made by people across the country over these last few weeks.”

But South Scotland Labour MSP, Colin Smyth, said: “The news that restrictions on the numbers allowed to attend outdoor events are to be lifted will be very welcome for many people, especially sports fans, but few people believe it had any impact on Covid numbers which is why I suspect it has been removed.

“I hope it will be possible to see other restrictions, in particular on the hospitality sector, lifted soon. In the meantime, we need to see more help for businesses who have seen the collapse in customer numbers at what would have been the busiest time of the year.

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