A surge in the number of COVID19 cases in Dumfries and Galloway, which leaves the region with the second highest case rate in Scotland, has been described as “deeply worrying” by South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

The latest figures showed a seven-day rate of 536 cases per 100,000 people, with Inverclyde the only other part of Scotland showing a higher level. A total of 838 new positive cases have been recorded locally in the last seven days, taking the total number of cases in the region since the start of the pandemic stands at 2,337 (compared to 1,499 on 29 Dceember).

Colin Smyth said, “This sudden surge is deeply worrying and takes Dumfries and Galloway to a place we have not been since near the start of the pandemic, namely a region with one of the highest levels of the virus in Scotland. It seems the easing of restrictions over Christmas and the emergence of the new variant is taking its toll, especially when it gets hold in an area of more dense population like our towns. It emphasises the need for everyone to redouble our efforts to follow the rules on staying at home and social distancing when we do need to go out for essential purposes. We have been here before and people worked hard to bring down the numbers rapidly. Our region can, and will, do that again”

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