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Coronavirus / Covid-19 latest – majority in Shetland have made a full recovery

Pandemic still ‘developing’ in Shetland – health chief

ANOTHER person has tested positive for coronavirus in Shetland, bringing the isles’ total to 42.

There have also been four positive tests in Orkney and the Western Isles. The number of coronavirus deaths throughout Scotland jumped to 296 with 4,229 people testing positive, it was announced at 2pm.

NHS Shetland has meanwhile said that the majority of people in the isles who have tested positive for Covid-19 have made a full recovery, but cannot give specific numbers for “confidentiality issues”.

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said that the “Covid-19 situation is still developing in Shetland.”

He added: “We are doing everything we can to prepare but only time will tell what happens. We have a team of people working in their respective disciplines doing everything they can to ensure we are in the best position we can be to manage any eventuality.”

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson. Photo: Shetland News

The health chief added that it would be wrong to apply “national modelling” to a place the size of Shetland to estimate the number of people actually infected with Covid-19.

On Monday it had been suggested that more than 300,000 people in Scotland could be affected by the virus.

He said: “Shetland is a unique place and the cases we have identified to date occurred far earlier than other locations such as Orkney.

“The other issue is considering rates such as the per 100,000, based on that measure Shetland looks like an extreme outlier, however this figure isn’t weighted to take into consideration the small population of Shetland.

Dickson confirmed there were no cases of Covid-19 at the Gilbert Bain Hospital “but this could change at any time”. The hospital is set up with a five-patient respiratory care unit.

The unit does not replace the need to fly patients south for intensive care, he said, and two patients have been flown south for intensive care.

Dickson added that NHS Shetland could also not confirm the number of Covid-19 patients in care homes owing to the low numbers involved, but stressed the need for people not to visit their loved ones unless “absolutely necessary.”

He said that there were a “host of protocols in place including isolating patients, the use of PPE and stopping all but essential visits into the care home.” This is being done in conjunction with the SIC’s social care services which manage care homes in Shetland.

Dickson emphasised that anyone who suspects they have Covid-19, or has any respiratory symptoms, must not come to the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

Instead, they must check for more information on NHS Inform and, if they remain unwell, call NHS 24 on 111. In the case of any medical emergency people should continue to call 999.

“Within the hospital anyone admitted with suspected Covid-19 is kept isolated and strict infection control protocols followed,” he added. The Ronas Ward has been established as a dedicated area, as and when required.

Dickson said: “Pathways for Covid-19 patients have been mapped so that the risk of coming into contact with any other patient or person in the hospital is kept to an absolute minimum.”