Fife is to run Scotland’s first pilot project to monitor the spread of the coronavirus infection in the community.
Those found to have mild or moderate symptoms and not in need of hospital treatment, will for the first time be included in the official data gathered on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Fife Health and Social Care Partnership will carry out the monitoring over the next few months at the request of Health Protection Scotland.
It is hoped 1,000 people a week will be tested in community testing centres across the country once the programme is fully up and running.
The information gathered will be used for scientific modelling, political decision-making and social interventions.
Dr Helen Hellewell, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership’s associate medical director, said staff were delighted be asked to run the first project in Scotland.
“The information we gather will allow us to continually review and plan our covid response as we progress through the coronavirus outbreak,” she said.
“Here in Fife we have successfully established a covid-19 community triage hub in Glenrothes and an assessment centre at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
“They have been running for four weeks and the new monitoring process will look at the number of people who have mild or moderate symptoms of the covid-19 infection.
“It is important work that will help us eventually overcome the pandemic in Scotland.”
The Scottish Government said the pilot was part of enhanced surveillance of the virus to ensure the right range and quality of data.
A spokesperson said: “Local monitoring is now being carried out through community testing centres and we are liaising with NHS boards on delivery as we roll this out across the country.
“At full roll-out the community testing approach will see 1,000 people tested a week and the results applied to the full population.
“The first reliable results will be available soon and we will give an update at that point.”