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Coronavirus: Nike delegates at centre of outbreak ‘performed haka in hotel before Edinburgh tour’ | UK News



Nike delegates at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak performed a “Nike haka” in their Edinburgh hotel before a tour of the city, a guide has told Sky News.

He has spoken of his alarm at learning that some of the delegates he took through the city’s ‘Old Town’ were carrying coronavirus.

Neither he, nor two colleagues, were contact-traced by Scotland’s health authorities and only learned of their potential exposure when news of the outbreak broke in the media.

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The Scottish government has faced accusations of a cover-up over the affair, which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has strongly denied.

Of 70 international Nike delegates at the conference in Edinburgh’s Hilton Carlton Hotel on the 26 and 27 February, 25 have tested positive – eight of them in Scotland.

The tour guide, who conducts walking tours of Edinburgh, told Sky News: “On 27 February, myself and two other guides walked into the hotel and they (Nike delegates) did a haka – a sort of Nike haka – to energise themselves.

“We split them into groups of 20 each. There wasn’t a huge amount of close contact and I kept a distance, I didn’t shake hands with my group although I ordinarily would have done.

“We only found out when the story broke in the media – none of us have had any contact from public health officials.”

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“None of us have had any symptoms. As far as I’m aware, they’ve had no ill-effects.”

He added: “It’s alarming. My question is ‘did Nike provide details of who contact was made with?’ I don’t see the Scottish government as culpable.

“I’ve learned that life being preserved in a situation like this comes down to effective contact tracing. While we are reliant on people to produce lists of contacts, I’m concerned there are people who might not be making full declarations.”

News of the tour guides’ association with the Nike delegates emerged after Sky News revealed 20 employees of Lloyds Banking Group shared facilities at the Edinburgh hotel with the Nike delegation.

Nike has been contacted for comment.

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