More than 200 people test negative for coronavirus in Scotland

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Tourist in EdinburghImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A total of 290 Scottish tests have now been given the all-clear

A total of 202 people have now tested negative for the coronavirus at laboratories in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Screening began in Scotland 10 days ago, after previous samples were sent to test centres in England.

The Scottish government said 290 Scottish tests had been given the all-clear since UK-wide testing began.

The virus known as Covid-19 has claimed 2,004 lives in China, according to the latest Chinese data released on Wednesday.

There have been 74,185 confirmed infections recorded in mainland China and about 700 cases in other countries.

Image caption,
Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick has visited the test centre at Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Scotland's public health minister, Joe FitzPatrick, said it had been shown that setting up Scottish test centres allowed results to be delivered more quickly.

Speaking on a visit to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary test centre, he said: "Although all Scottish tests have so far been negative, we are prepared for the high likelihood that we will also see a positive case.

"We have a proven track record of dealing with challenging health issues and have been preparing for this possibility since the beginning of the outbreak."

The release of the Scottish figures came as the first passengers who tested negative for the new coronavirus began leaving a ship moored off Japan, after 14 days of quarantine.

At least 542 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess have been infected by the Covid-19 virus - the biggest cluster outside mainland China.

The US, Canada, Australia and the UK will place all those released from the ship in another 14 days' quarantine when they return home.

The Scottish government's advice is that people experiencing a fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of returning from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand, should phone their GP or NHS 24 immediately.

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