A mobile coronavirus testing unit has been deployed to the test centre near Aberdeen International Airport, as concern grows amid a “rapidly accelerating” number of cases in the city.
The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) also confirmed that demand from people attending the centre without an appointment meant some were redirected to the next nearest facility – in Forfar.
Long queues of cars have been seen outside the testing centre in recent days, though the UK Government confirmed that everyone who made an appointment at the Aberdeen site on Monday was able to receive a test.
A DHSC spokesperson added: “A regional testing site has been operating at Aberdeen Airport since April.
“A mobile test unit (MTU) has also been deployed to the city to begin testing (yesterday). There are further MTUs held in reserve that can swiftly be deployed if required.”
The action comes as NHS Grampian recorded 38 new cases in the region, the highest daily total since April 26 and the sixth highest daily total since the pandemic began.
On Wednesday, 36 new cases were recorded, bringing the total for August to 119.
In her daily briefing yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was this “rapidly accelerating” situation – “with the number of cases doubling every couple of days” – that led to the decision to place Aberdeen in a local lockdown.
She added: “With a situation like that, there is a real need to act quickly.”
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Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr: “It’s really important that people follow the instructions and guidance from the Scottish Government.
“To support that, we will have additional patrols in Aberdeen, where local restrictions have been reintroduced.
“Our approach to these local restrictions will reflect the consistent approach taken by Police Scotland since the outset of this pandemic, and our officers will continue to engage, educate and encourage people to comply, as we all support the public health efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
“The Chief Constable has made it consistently clear that we all should take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.”
People in Aberdeenshire remain unaffected by the lockdown, though the Scottish Government has said measures are “under consideration at the moment” – with any updates to be provided by the first minister during a future daily briefing.
Aberdeenshire Council leader Jim Gifford said local officials are in contact with the Scottish Government and he urged everyone who lives in the area to stay safe.
He said: “These changes in the City just emphasise that none of us are immune to the effects of Covid-19 and that we have to maintain our vigilance in order to avoid this happening elsewhere.
“We have followed Public Health Guidance throughout this pandemic and we urge everyone to follow the current guidance at all times.
“Our officers are in continuous contact with the Government and were involved in the decisions that have now been brought into force in Aberdeen.
“Those same discussions will continue as we monitor the situation and see if any further changes will be required that may affect Aberdeenshire.
“Our advice to everyone is the same – keep safe. Follow the guidance, follow the rules and maintain the social distancing and the high levels of hygiene that we know help keep this disease at bay.
“Our focus over the coming weeks is to get all of our pupils back into school and I hope that everyone in the north-east will be working to help us make that happen.”