Three more patients have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland.
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Dr Catherine Calderwood has confirmed the new cases of COVID-19, bring the total number of cases to six.
The patients are currently clinically well and are receiving appropriate clinical care.
They are from the Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow & Clyde and Grampian areas. All three new cases are contacts of known cases.
The latest cases have effectively doubled the number of confirmed infections.
The announcement comes a day after cases were confirmed in Grampian and Ayrshire. The first Scottish case was identified in the Tayside area.
Dr Calderwood said: “With all these cases, our thoughts are with those diagnosed and their families. Scotland is well equipped to deal with this kind of infection and we are doing everything we can to contain the virus at this stage and minimise the risk to the public.
“Clinicians are now conducting contact tracing, the process of gathering details of the places those who have tested positive visited and the people they have been in contact with.”
Close contact involves either face-to-face contact or spending more than 15 minutes within 2m (6.5ft) of an infected person. Medics say the risk is very low in situations where someone may have passed a patient on the street or in a shop.
Dr Calderwood added: “Health protection teams will contact those who are at risk from the current cases – those who are not contacted are not at risk.
“We can all play our part to limit the spread of the virus by washing our hands frequently for 20 seconds as well as always carrying tissues and using them to catch coughs and sneezes, then putting the tissue in a bin, and don’t touch your face.”
It is believed the positive samples have been sent to Public Health England’s WHO designated Colindale laboratory in London for confirmatory testing.
These three new cases bring the UK total of positive tests to 90.
There are currently 80 cases in England, six in Scotland, one in Wales and three in Northern Ireland.
On Tuesday, England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, warned that community transmission of the virus appeared to be occurring in the UK and an epidemic was looking “likely”.
What do I need to know about the coronavirus?
- HOW IS THE UK PLANNING FOR AN OUTBREAK: How prepared are we?
- WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? A simple guide
- HOW TO SELF-ISOLATE: What you need to know
- WHERE ARE WE WITH A VACCINE? Progress so far
- A VISUAL GUIDE TO THE OUTBREAK: Virus maps and charts
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said on Wednesday the government plan was concentrating on containment.
She said the advice to people who thought they had symptoms was to stay at home and contact NHS24 or their GP.
Evidence from around the world suggested that for the vast majority of those infected the symptoms would be “very mild”.
But she said the advice was still to “self-isolate” in a bid to contain the virus.
Dr Calderwood has previously said that 80% of people in Scotland would have a mild form of the illness but 4% could require hospital treatment.