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Coronavirus / No new coronavirus in Isles, despite radio claim

THE CHIEF executive of NHS Shetland has said there are no new cases of coronavirus in the isles despite a claim on national radio by a highly placed professor that there had been a “blip” of cases in Orkney and Shetland.

Michael Dickson categorically denied that there have been any new Covid-19 cases in Shetland “since 20 April”.

His response was after the National Clinical Director of Healthcare Quality and Strategy for Scotland Jason Leitch said in answer to questions on Radio Scotland’s Off The Ball programme that there were new cases in the Northern Isles.

Leitch said: “We’ve had a couple of blips up here. Orkney and Shetland both got new cases this week after about four weeks with no new infections. This virus has not gone away, so we have to be so cautious as we gradually reopen.”

But Dickson said: “We are absolutely certain that we have not had any cases since the 20 April.

“He is dealing with multiple health boards, and these things happen. I actually went back to double-check and I can confirm that we have not had any new cases since 20 April.”

Dickson added: “I have a huge amount of time and respect for professor Leitch and I understand the demands that he is under. We are aware that Orkney has had one additional case, and I wonder if it is just a degree of confusion about that.”

Orkney had one additional case at the end of May, bringing the total to eight after several weeks where the total had been static at seven.