Scotland’s chief medical officer is urging people to “be patient” and “listen” if a Covid contact tracer gets in touch with them, after a rise in the number of tracers being abused.
At today’s Covid briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Chief Medical Officer Gregor Smith said they remain confident restrictions will continue to ease in the coming weeks due to the success of the vaccination programme.
Contact tracers abused
However, Mr Smith said more Test and Protect contact tracers are being abused when they call people and ask them to self-isolate because they have been a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid.
He said: “One of the features we are occasionally seeing more often reported from these teams is when they are contacting the public and asking them to isolate, they are reporting more cases of people being abusive to them.
“Be patient when they contact you, and listen to what they have to say.
Be patient when they contact you, and listen to what they have to say.
“They are trying their very best to make sure we all remain protected from Covid, so please heed their advice.”
This comes after a video of Professor Chris Witty being assaulted as he walked from St James’ Park in London was shared on social media this morning.
At the Covid briefing Mr Smith also thanked contact tracers and public health teams across Scotland for the work they have done over the past 16 months.
He said: “When people think about our response to Covid-19, some of the images they think of are the pictures inside hospitals, ICUs and emergency departments, and the way clinicians help people when they are particularly ill.
📺 Watch live: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a press conference on #coronavirus.
Joining the First Minister is Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith. https://t.co/ivAU3Sdz9P
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) June 29, 2021
“But we can’t afford to forget the ‘forgotten’ heroes across our community healthcare and public health teams who have been responding for many, many months, and the massive contribution they make to how we protect people from the continuing Covid-19 challenges we face.
“I want to thank everyone in the contact tracing teams and across community health for everything they are contributing.
“I realise how busy these teams are.”
As of Tuesday 29 June a further 3,118 people have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of positive cases since the start of the pandemic in Scotland to 277,335.
One further person has died after testing positive for the virus, bringing the total death toll to 7,713.