OVER 200 people in the isles have been tested for Covid-19 so far, according to NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson.
This includes 78 NHS staff tested for occupational health purposes, with a small percentage of employees testing positive. The number tested is 11 per cent of the 700-strong NHS workforce in the isles.
Speaking on Wednesday, the health board chief highlighted that “testing people without symptoms for Covid-19 may detect some who are infected but without symptoms, but may not detect all”.
“The test will not necessarily detect those who are incubating the illness who are pre-symptomatic, who may go on to develop symptoms despite an earlier negative test result,” Dickson said.
Tests were initially carried out on people displaying symptoms at a time when NHS Shetland was tracing people who had been in contact with positive cases.
However, as the government shifted its strategy in response to the spread of the disease, people with minor symptoms were told to stay home, with tests only being carried out on those who were clinically unwell – although some frontline staff have also been tested.
With Shetland home to around 23,000 people, the number of those tested so far amounts to around one per cent of the population.
As of Tuesday (15 April) 45 tests from Shetland had returned positive results.
By comparison, the neighbouring Faroe Islands have so far tested around 11 per cent of its population (5,602 tests as of two days ago).
Most people affected in Faroe have recovered, with only 21 ‘active’ cases of Covid-19 as of yesterday (14 April), and no new cases confirmed for a week.
Speaking with regards to testing in care homes, Dickson said: “We are testing in care homes in line with our pandemic plan which includes looking at clusters of symptomatic patients.
“To our knowledge these figures are not in the public domain.”
The health chief also said a “number” of people have been admitted to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick who have presented with respiratory symptoms that could have indicated the presence of Covid-19.
All of them were barrier nursed and tested, and all patients who have tested positive have been recorded in the Scottish Government figures which are released daily.
NHS Shetland re-opened the Ronas Ward in the hospital to dedicate space to treating Covid-19 patients.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 540 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News