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Coronavirus / ‘Please don’t take chances’: local GP warns against Covid complacency

A LOCAL doctor has warned people not to “take chances” when it comes to protecting themselves against Covid.

Hillswick GP Susan Bowie encouraged people to “behave as you might have Covid” and don’t be tempted into nipping into a friend’s for a visit because the virus is still circulating.

She took to social media to speak about the response to coronavirus amid a spike in cases in Shetland linked to the north mainland.

Dr Susan Bowie.
Dr Susan Bowie.

Dr Bowie stressed the importance of GP practices receiving Covid vaccine.

“GPs are the masters of mass vaccination, and normally we would do huge flu clinics and get everyone sorted as quickly as we can,” she said.

“With Covid vaccine, we have to follow a very prescribed schedule from the Scottish Government/Scottish health boards, and so it will be a while, but we will do it as soon as we possibly can.

“And as quickly as we can. We are ready and willing, and have not forgotten about you. There is no vaccine arrived at the surgery yet, likely not until the 18th we have been told.”

Dr Bowie later said that on Thursday evening an offer had come in to vaccinate for her staff at the Hillswick Health Centre today (Friday).

NHS Shetland, meanwhile, confirmed this week that vaccinations for people aged over 80 and living at home would begin to be rolled out through GP practices soon.

On the subject of masks, Dr Bowie said that they will be around for a long time yet, even if you have had the vaccine as it “won’t work immediately”.

“Please make sure you have a decent mask,” she said. “They need to work. They need to fit. They need to have three layers. We have some at the surgery, free, with built in droplet protection, with more on the way.”

The GP added that a buff – elasticated fabric usually used around the neck area – is “not enough”.

“If you have symptoms – stay home and get tested,” Bowie said. “It’s your civic duty. There is no blame attached – any of us can get it, and we all get voluntarily tested at the surgery every week.

“We do it because we want to protect each other, our families and of course patients.  There is no place for having ‘clandestine Covid’ – that does put people at risk as it means we cannot test and trace contacts if we don’t know who you are.”

Shetland remains under level three of Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions, meaning people can’t socialise in each other’s homes.

More details on what is included in the restrictions can be found online.