Coronavirus cases linked to student parties have soared to more than 100 as Dundee University’s principal fears it could derail the city’s route out of lockdown.
The outbreak began after gatherings at Magdalen Green and private student properties this month.
Cases have almost tripled since the situation was first reported a week ago.
Professor Iain Gillespie, who is the university’s principal and vice-chancellor, said the parties were “incredibly irresponsible”.
In a video message sent to all students, he said: “This behaviour and this outbreak has caused real concern, real anger, and real frustration amongst the vast majority of our students and staff who have been incredibly responsible throughout the whole of this pandemic and I thank you for that.
“It’s also caused incredible anger amongst our broader community in Dundee.
“I think this is completely justifiable given that this spike of over 100 new infections starts to put at risk our ability as a city to come out of lockdown.”
Springfield a hotspot for parties
An estimated 200 students were seen celebrating St Patrick’s Day at popular West End park Magdalen Green on March 17.
And on March 14, a large party took place at a private property on Springfield, just metres from the main campus off Perth Road.
Data released by police at the end of last year showed a property on Springfield was the largest private gathering to be dispersed in all of Tayside and Fife when 60 were caught.
Prof Gillespie stressed the outbreak has not spread to the wider campus, which would have seen a major decision to suspend all in-person activity at the university.
Though encouraging further testing, he said those responsible for organising the parties will be identified and punished.
He said: “My priority right now is that any of you who have been in contact with those who participated in these gatherings get tested.
“Look after yourself stay safe and I promise you that any information that’s gathered through that testing will be confidential.
“That said we cannot tolerate this behaviour.
“I will not tolerate further gatherings or parties and we will be looking as a university at taking all the steps possible to ensure disciplinary procedures are brought to bear on those who have instigated this.
“We must keep our community safe. I implore you to be responsible.”