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Covid in Scotland: Deaths in Edinburgh cancer ward after outbreak

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A number of people have died in an Edinburgh hospital following an outbreak of Covid-19 on a cancer ward.

Six other patients at Edinburgh's Western General have also been confirmed with the virus.

NHS Lothian said it was investigating the outbreak and the ward had been closed to new admissions and discharges to allow tests to be carried out.

It comes after a number of positive cases were also identified on wards at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said a ward had been closed to new admissions and other Covid-19 control measures introduced at the hospital.

Infection control

In Edinburgh, patients and staff are being screened for the virus as part of the health board's response.

An incident management team (IMT) has also been set up and new infection control measures put in place.

NHS Lothian said all patients on the cancer ward had been informed of the outbreak and contact tracing was being carried out.

Patients who would normally return home for the weekend to spend time with families have been asked to remain in the hospital to reduce the risk of further transmission.

Dr Donald Inverarity, consultant microbiologist and chair of the IMT, said: "Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and I would like to express our sincere condolences.

"The situation will continue to be reviewed and monitored very closely.

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"Patient safety is our main priority and while we understand that the request not to go home for the weekend may be upsetting, it is necessary."

In Glasgow, the health board said strict infection control guidance was being observed to ensure patient treatments could continue.

In a statement, they said: "We have a number of positive cases in wards at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and staff are working extremely hard to ensure the appropriate measures have been implemented to minimise the spread of the virus.

"This includes the temporary closure of the ward to new admissions and other Covid-19 control measures.

"All those affected have been contact traced, screened and are self-isolating. All asymptomatic contact patients are being cared for separately from the confirmed cases."

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