THE NHS in Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has suspended visits at all hospitals to protect patients and staff from the deadly coronavirus.

The suspension comes into place immediately from today, which comes following a jump in the number of confirmed cases in Scotland to 719.

There are 221 people with the bug in NHSGGC alone, and 22 people with the virus have died in Scotland so far.

The suspension applies to all visitors apart from the following "essential" groups.


READ MORE: Coronavirus LIVE: Biggest overnight increase as Scotland hits 719 cases with 22 deaths

These are: 

·         One birthing partner, during labour, who must remain within the maternity area at all times.  

·         Parents of children who are inpatients or attending an outpatient appointment. Parents should remain with their child at all times during the visit.  

·         One person to support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed   

·         One family member of those receiving end of life care  

Those essential visits must arrange their visit through the nurse in charge of the ward, with only one visitor able to attend at any given time.

No children are permitted to visit.  

The health board added that all visitors must use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving clinical areas and must not visit if they are experiencing a persistent cough, fever or flu like symptoms.  

Essential visitors at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital will be greeted by volunteers with hand sanitiser.

Volunteers will also encourage those in the main atrium and food areas to practice social distancing measures.  

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Over 220 cases in Glasgow as Scotland hits 719 with 22 deaths

Angela O'Neill, Deputy Nurse Director of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: "In these extraordinary circumstances, we have made the decision to suspend all visiting from our hospitals. This is to protect our patients, staff and public from COVID-19. 

"We understand this will be difficult - visitors are normally warmly welcomed into our hospitals but our main priority now is to keep everyone safe.  

“We want to thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation.  

"Essential visitors, like birthing partners, parents of children and those visiting a family member receiving end of life care, will continue to be allowed, however only 1 visitor at any given time.  

"If you are in the essential group of visitors, please speak to the nurse in charge to arrange.”