Lanarkshire, UK, July 28, 2020 -- The number of positive coronavirus cases linked to a Lanarkshire workplace has risen to 27 it has been confirmed.
That consists of 18 people associated with the premises at the Sitel contact tracing centre in Eurocentral, near Motherwell, and an additional nine cases from linked contacts, NHS Lanarkshire have said.
The cluster of COVID-19 cases was initially revealed last week when six members of staff were confirmed with the virus.
That number rose steeply within a few days to 17 members of staff and seven others that had been in close contact with people working at the contact tracing centre.
Two Motherwell pubs, The Railway Tavern and Merlins Bar, along with Costa Coffee in Carfin were also forced to close their doors for a short period.
And a total of five businesses were linked to the Covid-19 outbreak at Sitel call centre
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon thanked workers at the premises for their cooperation after it was identified that staff from Sitel who had the virus had been within their premises.
Then during last Thursday’s Covid-19 briefing, she warned that numbers of infections linked to the site could still increase.
She said: "Given that the virus can have a long incubation period, intensive work is still ongoing to ensure that all possible chains of transmission from this outbreak are being closed down."
Marion Fellows, MP for Wishaw and Motherwell, has reiterated the need for people to follow Scottish Government guidance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
She said: "I can assure communities that the Scottish Government, NHS Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Council are taking the appropriate steps to halt any further cases stemming from the small cluster at Sitel.
"While the NHS has provided assurances by saying the risk to the public is low, we should not take any chances and people must continue to diligently follow the guidance on social distancing, masks and washing your hands.
"I have contacted Sitel to raise concerns around staff pay, returning to work, and future workplace conditions. Staff must be supported and respected by receiving full pay and being able to work from home.
"If we continue to follow the guidance, we will stop the virus spreading in Lanarkshire and across Scotland."
A statement on the Sitel website claims that the Maxim Park site was operating at just 40 per cent of its capacity before the outbreak to comply with physical distancing measures.
It added: "Across the UK, where possible, Sitel’s contract tracers have been offered the opportunity to work from home; more than 90 per cent of them are working from home, while less than 10 per cent are working in one of Sitel Group’s UK sites.
"Those choosing to work onsite are doing so due to technology, environmental or personal preferences, or for compliance and data security reasons."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, July 30, 2020
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