Coronavirus is now moving swiftly across the UK as we now have 115 confirmed cases and counting with 6 confirmed in Scotland.

The prime minister has outlined a four phased strategy to manage the potential coronavirus outbreak.

The first phase - containment - aims to detect and isolate early cases with contact tracing of those who have been in contact with infected people.

The first minister has announced that though we are still in the first phase, there is a strong likelihood of the virus spreading fairly rapidly in the coming days which could see us moving into phase two - delay - where the aim is to slow the spread of coronavirus to reduce the impact on both the public and the NHS.

It is challenging as we are still struggling and trying to manage the annual winter crisis which should soon calm down but with the dawn of another outbreak, there really is no respite for the NHS this year.

Will we truly have enough resources and stamina, as an establishment, to battle against this I wonder?

In the delay phase, the onus is on you - the general public – to do your bit.

By this I mean take all the measures you can to keep yourself and your loved ones protected and safe.

None of this is rocket science but it is sad that it has taken a global epidemic, with multiple deaths, for us to all appreciate the power of simple interventions like washing our hands.

I like the reference of “wash your hands and sing happy birthday twice” to know that you’ve washed your hands for long enough to have killed the nasties.

Also things like being mindful of where and what you touch is crucial.

Thousands of people transit through public toilets, public transport, restaurants and shopping centres every single day.

You don’t know where these people have been before, who they’ve been in contact with and whether or not they are carrying any infection.

So it is crucial to regularly wash your hands and if not possible carry a hand sanitizer that has an alcohol content greater than 60 per cent.

The other mantra worth keeping in mind is “catch it, bin it, kill it.”

Start carrying with you tissues and if you happen to cough or sneeze without a tissue to hand, then do it into your elbow.

It really is that simple.

My son was very disappointed this week as we told him we are probably not going to go on a summer holiday this year but rather stay in Scotland and travel around here instead.

Why not?

We have the most incredible sights, we really should consider boosting our own tourism industry for once, provided it remains safe of course.

I therefore urge you to consider safety above everything when making decisions to travel.

Airports, flights, trains are hot tubs for infection and we simply cannot control or possibly know everything about everyone who is travelling with you.

Over the years I’ve had patients declare that they’ve gone against medical advice and gone to work - whether that be in school canteens/restaurants, or other public areas - with gastroenteritis because they could not afford to stay off.

We simply cannot know or expect everyone to act consciously so looking after number one ie. you is the only thing you can guarantee.

I am not going to lie, this is worrying me because so little is known about the coronavirus.

While we are led to believe it will only cause mild symptoms in most cases, the vulnerable - frail, elderly, young and those receiving immunosuppressive treatment - as usual are at the highest risk.

The fourth and final phase is research.

We are gathering new data daily and learning more about this virus.

This is ongoing and hopefully we will be able to find some way to treat this moving forward.

There has been a new discovery however that Coronavirus has mutated into two strains, one which appears to be far more aggressive.

This could potentially hinder attempts to develop a vaccine.

This funding is in its early stages but we should all be keeping an eye on the news and continue to do our bit in the mission to fight COVID-19.