A GP and chairman of NFU Scotland’s Stewartry Branch has advised farmers to take Covid-19 infection control seriously and to think of it as being like foot- and- mouth, but affecting humans.
Dr John Locke, a GP in Gatehouse of Fleet urged farmers to observe Government advice around hygiene and isolation and for those on family farms, ’keep to your own house’.
He said: “For many it will be a mild illness but may still put you to bed for three days and feel exhausted for two weeks. For your parents or grandparents it might kill 10 percent. Some people will be left with serious long-term lung damage. Isolation of ill people and their relatives might decimate your workforce."
Dr Locke also advised staying two metres apart and do not allow anyone to visit unless essential for work or safety issues.
“Delivery drivers should not have direct contact and should use a pre-arranged drop-off point," said Dr Locke.
"They should sign their own pad or sheet. Do not use their pen. Take a photo of goods as proof of delivery if necessary.”
He advised tractor drivers not to swap vehicles, to wipe down control levers, and not travel in the cab with others .
“If you are ill with a fever or harsh cough then you must isolate," he added.
"This is difficult at a busy time but on average you will infect another three people by contacting others. Those who have health problems, or are over 70 or have had treatment reducing your immunity should be extra careful to reduce contacts.
“Keep yourself safer than ever - the NHS does not want to spend time dealing with careless accidents or self-inflicted illnesses. There may not be an intensive care bed to treat you after falling off a ladder."
For more information and advice call NHS24 on 111 to be put through to a local hub for further assessment.
GP clinics are open for advice on all the usual conditions but mainly by phone.