The spread of Covid-19 has put severe strain on Fife’s health and social care services.
NHS Fife chairwoman Tricia Marwick said the region’s move into Tier 3 should serve as a stark warning to follow the Scottish Government guidance in a bid to bring down infection rates.
She said this would help protect hospitals and staff as well as the wider public.
The First Minister’s announcement has been described by politicians as disappointing but understandable given the 40% rise in the number of positive cases in the region in the past week.
We must all reflect on our individual actions and consider the consequences of these on our communities and the most vulnerable in society.”
NHS Fife chairwoman Tricia Marwick
Mrs Marwick said the public health team had been closely monitoring the data and had seen a sustained increase in infections.
“It is therefore vital that we now act quickly and decisively to suppress the transmission rate of the virus across Fife, to save lives and protect frontline services,” she said.
“This move from level two to three is a stark warning to us all.
“I am therefore asking all Fifers to adhere to the level three measures to help drive down the transmission rate and avoid any further restrictions being placed on our communities.”
This afternoon the Scottish Government announced that Fife will move into Level 3 of its COVID-19 framework. The change will take effect on Friday at 6AM.
— NHS Fife (@nhsfife) November 10, 2020
Mrs Marwick said the Tier 3 measures put in place across much of the central belt last month was already having an impact.
“We hope the same will follow for Fife,” she said.
“We will closely monitor the situation with the Scottish Government and review the decision again regularly.
“I would like to remind the public that, at present, Covid-19 is causing severe pressure on our health and social care resources across Fife.
“To protect our loved ones, our staff and our hospitals, it is vitally important that everyone takes responsibility to follow Scottish Government guidance.
“We must all reflect on our individual actions and consider the consequences of these on our communities and the most vulnerable in society.”
Fife Council co-leaders David Ross and David Alexander said they were disappointed the region was moving into Tier 3 but that the data was beyond dispute.
Labour leader Mr Ross said they had had a conversation with Deputy First Minister John Swinney late on Monday night.
“We were all satisfied that at this point it’s the right decision,” he said.
“The positivity rate is still going up in Fife and the feeling I certainly had is we would be better to go into Tier 3 now and hopefully that will be sufficient to reduce the rise and get it going in the right direction before Christmas.”
SNP leader Mr Alexander said: “We have to leave this infection with nowhere to go.
“There have been 406 new infections in Fife in the last week and that has resulted in an increase in hospital admissions.
“If we all obey the rules, it will be suppressed and we’ll get back to Tier 2 and maybe even better.”
We have a tradition in Fife of standing together in solidarity and that is what is required at this time.”
Labour MSP Alex Rowley
Both leaders highlighted the support available to anyone in need as a result of Covid.
It can be found online at www.fife.gov.uk/coronavirus or by phoning the Fife Covid Community Helpline on 0800 952 0330.
Labour MSP Alex Rowley said people must work to bring infection rates down.
“I know many businesses have been working hard to stay open and will be very disappointed,” he said.
“The numbers have been rising and so we must all try our best to stay within the rules and drive down the spread of the virus.
“This is a difficult time but we have a tradition in Fife of standing together in solidarity and that is what is required at this time to beat the virus.”
Mid Scotland and Fife Conservative MSP Alexander Stewart said many people would be disappointed however.
“The Level 3 decision will be a body blow to local business and will put a real strain on our community’s organisations, as well as nearly every resident and individual across the area,” he said.