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‘Tsunami’ of coronavirus cases expected

Makeshift hospitals are being planned throughout Scotland to help ease the burden on healthcare facilities.

Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, says she is expecting a “tsunami” of new coronavirus cases in coming weeks.

Twenty-two people who tested positive for coronavirus have died and 719 positive cases have been recorded across Scotland — although the actual number of cases is expected to be much higher.

Field hospital sites in Scotland will be identified this week ahead of a predicted rapid rise in cases.

New distribution systems for protective equipment were also being set up, she confirmed.

The news regarding field hospitals follows on from a 4,000-bed hospital is to be situated within the ExCel Exhibition Centre in East London, which will be staffed by medics with the assistance of the military.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning programme, Dr Calderwood said: “We have had quite detailed discussions very recently and I know that there are sites being considered in Scotland this week.”

Vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr David Chung, warned that the dramatic explosion in coronavirus case numbers in London could be replicated in Scotland.

Dr Calderwood said: “Unfortunately, the emergency medicine doctor is absolutely right. We have people with mild illness, as we know 80 per cent of people — but up to 20 per cent of people will have a much more significant illness.”

Across the UK, 465 people have died from coronavirus.

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