THE Scottish Government have claimed that tough new lockdown restrictions in East Renfrewshire are slowing the rate of Covid-19 infections. 

A ban on home visits was imposed on East Renfrewshire, Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire on September 2 after a sudden spike in cases.

Five days later, it was extended to four other local authorities, including neighbouring Renfrewshire, and then across the whole of Scotland on September 23.

Figures released by Public Health Scotland to September 27 show the rate of positive cases in the East Renfrewshire Council area slowed in the days following the introduction of the new home visits ban five weeks ago.

They also show there were fluctuations after that, with the rate of new infections rising and then falling on a day-to-day basis.

However, the Scottish Government insist that Covid-19 infection rates are decreasing overall in East Renfrewshire.

They say that any rise is down to more testing being carried out and the increased use of the ‘track and trace’ system.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “There are encouraging signs from the number of cases reported locally that suggest the measures introduced in East Renfrewshire are slowing the rate of increase.

“The National Incident Management Team (IMT) continue to monitor data relating to local outbreaks and all restrictions are kept under regular review to ensure that they are proportionate to local conditions and their intended effect.”

The rate of infection in East Renfrewshire is also far lower than in the neighbouring council areas of Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire.

The increase in Glasgow is said to be due in part to the number of students returning to halls of residence.

Infection rates are calculated by adding up all the new positive cases over the previous seven days, dividing it by the population of an area and then multiplying by 100,000.

Last week, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde also said the rate of increase in positive cases is slowing down in their area, apart from in Glasgow.

Experts say around 40 per cent of infections are linked to household clusters.