Here's why we don't know exactly where coronavirus cases have been confirmed

Thursday, 12th March 2020, 9:32 am
Updated Thursday, 12th March 2020, 9:34 am

So far, the UK's governments have revealed where the country’s coronavirus cases are only by the area in which they’re contained.

They haven’t been more specific than that. But why is that?

Edinburgh Evening News asked the Scottish Government whether they could be more specific on the location of coronavirus cases in Scotland.

A spokesperson responded: “The Scottish Government provides a daily update at 2pm, which includes an up-to-date tally of test numbers and results, and the number of positive cases in each region.”

They did not clarify why the government doesn’t reveal the exact locations of coronavirus cases.

Why don't we know where coronavirus cases are confirmed?

It likely comes down to a privacy issue; the authorities aren’t in the business of releasing personal information like addresses.

Even if they were more specific but still kept it to a place name, that could cause unnecessary panic in those areas.

Imagine a small village finds out there is a coronavirus in their settlement – the local community would react with fear and uncertainty, and that could have a damaging impact on the people living there.

Plus, we’ve already seen cases of racially charged attacks in this country. There is a real suspicion of the virus, despite its relatively low fatality rate, and to single out those carrying the disease could put those people in very real danger.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But.similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Should I avoid public places?

Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS