Covid-19, the new form of coronavirus which has killed over 2,000 people around the world, has become a notifiable disease in Scotland.
Health regulations have been updated, requiring doctors to inform health boards about any cases of the disease.
They must share patient information “if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a person they are attending has coronavirus”.
No cases have been found in Scotland so far.
The Chief Medical Officer has written to NHS Boards, medical practitioners and directors of diagnostic laboratories to make them aware of the changes.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Although all Scottish tests have so far been negative, we are prepared for the high likelihood that we will also see a positive case in Scotland.
“These changes keep our public health legislation up to date, ensuring the health service in Scotland can quickly respond, if a suspected case of coronavirus is confirmed.
“Our NHS is well-equipped to cope with any suspected cases. We are actively working with health boards to ensure this, and have well-rehearsed procedures in place for infections of this kind.”
In Scotland, 368 people have been tested for the disease. All tests have been negative.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there were 76,769 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Friday.
The vast majority have been in China.
A total of 2,239 people have died.
Source: BBC News