A conference being held by a diabetes charity in Glasgow has been cancelled amid growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
Diabetes UK said it was “not a decision we have come to lightly” having to balance the “commitment to delivering a conference… with our deep and genuine concern” of delegates.
The Diabetes UK Professional Conference had been set to take place from March 18-20 at Glasgow’s SEC.
On Monday, five more cases were confirmed in Scotland, taking the total to 23.
The latest Scottish Government statistics suggest NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has three of those.
We sought to balance our commitment to delivering a conference that we know provides real value and impact, with our deep and genuine concern for the health and wellbeing of all our conference attendeesDiabetes UK
A statement on the charity’s website said: “We sought to balance our commitment to delivering a conference that we know provides real value and impact, with our deep and genuine concern for the health and wellbeing of all our conference attendees.
“Hospitals are currently operating at the highest possible national incident response level, to enable them to be as prepared as possible for the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“On that basis, we do not believe it would be right or responsible to proceed with holding the conference when the NHS is in such need of its expert workforce.
“Equally we are mindful of our responsibility to support efforts to delay the spread of Covid-19 across the UK.
“We understand that this decision will inconvenience many of you, and that you will have practical and logistical questions you will want us to answer.
“We ask for your understanding here; our conference team will now have a great deal of work to do following this decision.”
Meanwhile, NHS Lanarkshire confirmed a dental practice in Cumbernauld had taken a decision to temporarily close following the emergence of a case.
The Stewart and Stewart decision was made as a precaution with the case being one of three in the Lanarkshire region so far.
Practice partner Dr Gordon Stewart said: “The health and safety of our patients and staff are of paramount importance to us.
“As soon as we were notified of this matter we immediately agreed with NHS Lanarkshire’s public health officials that to close temporarily as a precaution would be the most appropriate step to take.
“I would like thank our wonderful staff for their understanding and support at this time.
“I would also like to express my sincere apologies to all our patients for the inconvenience this will cause but hope they will understand our reasons for this course of action and fully support our decision.
“We will endeavour to keep all staff and patients updated during this period.”
Elsewhere, NHS Ayrshire and Arran has expanded its testing arrangements to include “drive through” testing along with other areas of the country including Edinburgh.
Medical director Dr Crawford McGuffie said: “We had been providing hospital-based testing from University Hospital Crosshouse.
“However, for most people attending an inpatient ward is not required and this also limits how many tests we can offer each day.
“As we expect the number of tests will increase significantly, by introducing a community testing model, as well as inpatient testing, we will be able to increase our capacity to meet the needs of the population.
“We know that it can be daunting to see the testing team wearing personal protective equipment.
“However, we want to reassure people that there is no need to be alarmed. This is part of our usual infection control procedures.”