The Scottish Government has admitted it knew about a coronavirus outbreak linked to an Edinburgh conference a week before mass gatherings were banned.
More questions were raised about the way the Scottish Government handled the start of the outbreak following the revelation.
A statement released by the government said 25 positive cases linked to the international Nike Conference at the capital’s Hilton Carlton Hotel were confirmed by Health Protection Scotland and international public health authorities on March 9.
The 25 cases included eight people living in Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon did not announce a ban on mass gatherings, like sporting events, until March 12 and the edict did not come into force until March 16, a week after the cases were confirmed.
Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, has accused the Scottish Government of “covering up” the outbreak – a claim Ms Sturgeon has vociferously denied.
The first minister has defended the decision not to disclose the outbreak at the time, citing patient confidentiality. She has also emphasised that she was following scientific advice.
The people of Edinburgh deserve answers from the First Minister about this cover-up and the questions are piling up.”
The outbreak at the conference, which was held on February 26 and 27, was revealed in a BBC Disclosure documentary.
The Scottish Government announced that the first Scottish case on March 1 as being in Tayside.
Mr Murray, Shadow Scottish Secretary, said: “Despite being fully aware of the outbreak by March 9, another week passed before mass gatherings were banned. On March 8, nearly 70,000 fans packed out Murrayfield for Scotland v France.
“The people of Edinburgh deserve answers from the first minister about this cover-up and the questions are piling up.
“Were GPs and local health centres and hospitals informed? Were local businesses around the hotel informed? Were local elected members informed? Were the rugby authorities informed? Were the airport and train companies informed?
“This is now a test of the Scottish Government’s honesty with the people of Scotland.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The 25 positive cases linked to the conference, including the eight resident in Scotland, were all confirmed by Health Protection Scotland and national and international public health authorities by March 9, within seven days of the first alert to Health Protection Scotland (HPS).”
“All confirmed cases in Scotland were reported within 24 hours of HPS being notified, as part of the daily report published on the Scottish Government’s website.”
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