MEDICAL chiefs in the Forth Valley are looking to respond to and control any future local outbreaks of coronavirus as they prepare for a potential second wave.

Dr Graham Foster, director of public health and strategic planning at NHS Forth Valley, has said a lot of unknowns still remain when it comes to the future and Covid-19.

However, he is expecting a second wave around the world while locally, the priority will be to contain any small outbreaks – similarly to how cases of norovirus would be handled at schools.

Speaking at a virtual press briefing, he said: "There will be second waves around the world.

"We do not know at this stage whether or not the public health measures that we have in place will be sufficient to stop those waves occurring when we get into the autumn and winter."

The current guidance is that the health board should "absolutely prepare for a second wave" and be ready to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Dr Foster added: "In an ideal world, what we will see is small outbreaks getting slightly bigger and we will have really good local response and will be able to control them."

However, scenarios where a number of small outbreaks happen all at once are imaginable and it is possible that successful suppression measures such as lockdown may need to be implemented again.

Dr Foster explained the lockdown has been successful in flattening the curve in Scotland because people followed key messages.

Staying at home and social distancing work "really-really effectively" in tackling coronavirus, he said.

He added: "We have those up our sleeve if we need them again.

"It's more likely that we'll find ourselves back in suppression measures than that we'll actually see a second wave peak – but the two are linked together because you'll have to do one to stop the other."