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Coronavirus / Military called in to fly Covid-19 patient to intensive care

The Airbus A400M arrived at Sumburgh airport on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Ronnie Robertson

NHS SHETLAND has confirmed that that an RAF aircraft was tasked this afternoon (Sunday) to fly a critically ill patient from the Gilbert Bain Hospital to intensive care in Aberdeen.

The health board is not confirming whether or not this is coronavirus related, but first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced during a press briefing on Sunday that the military had to be called in to transfer a patient infected with the virus from one of the Scottish islands.

“We’ve had to call on military help to transport a patient from one of Scotland’s islands for treatment,” she told reporters during the press briefing in Edinburgh.

NHS Shetland said: “This afternoon a patient is being transferred from the Gilbert Bain Hospital to intensive care in Aberdeen.

“This is to ensure the most appropriate care is provided for them. The transfer will take place by RAF Hercules. We would like to thank the RAF for its support to the people of Shetland.”

Earlier on Sunday a team from the Scottish Ambulance Service arrived in the isles on board an air ambulance flight  to prepare the patient to be flown out on board the RAF A400M aircraft via Sumburgh airport.

Earlier today the Scottish Government confirmed that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Shetland remained at 24, while the number of Scottish cases has now risen to 416.

Ten people have died since the first cases were confirmed in Scotland about two weeks ago.