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NHS Highland to test out software contact tracers will use in next stage of battle against coronavirus

By Gregor White

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Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said NHS Highland will be one of those leading the way in efforts to control the spread of coronavirus.

Along with NHS Fife and NHS Lanarkshire the Highland health board will begin testing new technology from tomorrow.

At today's Holyrood coronavirus briefing health secretary Jeane Freeman said the technology would increase the speed at which contacts of those confirmed as having contracted Covid-19 can be traced.

It will also allow contact tracing on a much greater scale than at present.

The aim is for the software to be rolled out across Scotland by the end of the month.

It will then be "refined and improved" during June.

After a tenth death was confirmed yesterday at the Home Farm Care Home in Skye the health secretary also revealed new guidance for the sector.

She said the measures, also due to take effect from tomorrow, would provide "enhanced professional and clinical care oversight" for the sector.

Measures set to be introduced to the Coronavirus Bill would also allow the government to directly take over failing care homes.

Those measures will be considered by the Scottish Parliament next week.

As the latest coronavirus statistics showed just nine more deaths from Covid-19 across Scotland as a whole over the last 24 hours, Ms Freeman urged caution.

She pointed out that the weekend usually sees fewer deaths reported than during the week.

Related article: No new confirmed coronavirus cases in Highlands for second day running

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