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Coronavirus / Health board dealing with around 20-30 Covid cases a day

Official local figures in recent days have not included lateral flow positives

NHS SHETLAND says its public health team is currently managing “approximately 20-30” new Covid-19 cases a day – a substantially higher number than official data has indicated since changes to the way cases are recorded were made. 

Last week the Scottish Government changed the requirements for reporting positive cases so that confirmatory PCR tests are no longer required when someone records a positive through a lateral flow test (LFT).

Data giving a breakdown of positive tests by health board area continues to be published but only accounts for confirmed PCR tests.

On Tuesday there were four such cases recorded in Shetland, while there were a total of four cases combined across Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Across Scotland a total of 3,502 positive PCR tests were recorded on Tuesday, but the overall number of cases nationally was 7,752.

In response to a query from Shetland News, an NHS Shetland spokeswoman confirmed that the government was only offering breakdowns by individual health board for PCR tests and does not include LFTs at this stage.

“I understand it isn’t particularly straightforward for the team locally to collate the data from the national system because of data quality controls,” she said.

“The PH [public health] team has said, as a ballpark figure, they are currently managing approximately 20-30 new cases a day, the vast majority of which are now LFTs positives that people are reporting in.”

It is hoped that national reporting will be able to capture both testing methods by individual health board area in the near future.

On Tuesday afternoon Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed many remaining Covid-19 restrictions would be lifted from Monday (24 January) with case numbers appearing to have peaked in early January following the arrival of the Omicron variant of the virus in late 2021.

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