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Letters / Are the right precautions in place?

It’s not my intention to be an alarmist, but with an estimated 92,000 passengers from 105 cruise ships visiting Shetland this year, what special measures are the SIC and health authorities taking to ensure the Coronavirus doesn’t take hold on the island and threaten our small population?

Is the Lerwick Port Authority and airports properly equipped and staffed to handle such a task? I very much doubt it.

One also has to consider the 70,000 visitors who annually arrive in Shetland at Sumburgh Airport and the thousands who arrive on NorthLink ferries.

NHS posters and hand sanitizer may not be sufficient defence. With our small 23,000 population, if the rest of the UK had the same proportional nine times the population influx as Shetland it would be like having 600,000,000 people coming or visiting the whole of Britain.

Based on those statistics, as everyone on the island knows, colds and flu often spread quickly, so Shetland could become a hotbed for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In my opinion, before any person entering any port or airport on Shetland should complete a form detailing which country they have visited or have come from in the past three weeks and report if they are suffering from any symptoms such as a headache, cough, high temperature and shortness of breath.

As a further precaution, each person entering could have their temperature taken with a handheld temperature device which takes seconds.

Kerrie Meyer