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Coronavirus / Government confirms eleven local coronavirus cases

THE SCOTTISH Government finally confirmed this afternoon (Saturday) that the figure of eleven local coronavirus cases is indeed the correct one.

In its latest update on the pandemic, the government also confirmed that the overall number of cases in Scotland has risen from 85 to 121.

A total of 3,715 tests have been carried out across the country. Please see this government webpage for regular updates.

On Friday, controversy over the accurate figures broke out when the Scottish Government insisted that Shetland had six confirmed cases while local people knew that significantly more islanders had been tested positive.

NHS Shetland then released that there were eleven confirmed cases in the isles, a figure that was only meant to come out on Saturday, only to be instructed to recall its initial statement.

Shetland News has asked the Scottish Government for its version of events. We will add the government’s comments once received.

As the strategy to combat the pandemic has moved to the ‘delay’ phase, public life has virtually come to a standstill with large and many smaller events cancelled.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said that she recognised that there is considerable anxiety within the community regarding the spread of COVID-19.

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart: ‘Our community is, naturally, feeling anxious so we should social media wisely’. Photo: Shetland News

“Whilst the situation is understandably concerning, we must be guided in our actions by scientific advice. Certain measures are most effective when deployed at the right time,” she said.

Wishart added: “As the situation changes we must all exercise personal responsibility and keep up to date with the latest advice.

“Social media is helpful in providing that up to date guidance on the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. Our community is, naturally, feeling anxious so we should social media wisely.

“I would like to thank our all our hardworking health and social care staff who keep services running and keep us safe.”

The updated guidance in Scotland is as follows:-

  • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID19: Fever, shortness of breath and or a persistent cough you must self-isolate for 7 days. Only call your GP or NHS 24 (111) out of hours if you are in an at-risk group (older age, or with pre-existing health problems) or where symptoms worsen dramatically. NHS 24 have set up a helpline specifically for older people to call for advice and information on 0800 028 2816.
  • If a case is suspected it won’t be tested routinely. Testing will be conducted on a sample basis to gauge infection levels within communities.
  • Schools will remain open for the time being [apart from Shetland where they are closed as of Monday for operational reasons]. It is likely that they may need to close but when they do they may not re-open for several months.
  • Planned overseas school trips will now not go ahead until further notice.
  • Mass gatherings of over 500 people are advised not to go ahead from Monday, and any that require police/health worker support will be cancelled.