A third case of coronavirus infection on the Isle of Lewis has been reported today (14.00, Wednesday April 1) in the official Scottish Government figures.
It was only yesterday afternoon that the first two cases were confirmed to be on the Isle of Lewis.
At 16.41 today, NHS Western Isles announced that it "can confirm that there are now three cases of COVID-19 in the Western Isles. The cases are all on the Isle of Lewis, and all individuals are managing their own symptoms at home, and are being followed up daily by NHS staff."
And Ian Burgess, who chairs NHS Western Isles, issued a statement immediately afterwards saying: "I am writing this message to pass on my grateful thanks to both our NHS Western Isles staff and staff of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Social Care who are working tirelessly in our hospitals, communities and care homes throughout the Islands to continue to provide excellent care to our population. My thanks also go to the many volunteers throughout our communities who are helping us defeat this awful virus.
"It is truly humbling to see our community come together, work together and support our most vulnerable individuals and groups.
"I would like to sincerely welcome and thank those members of staff who are returning from retirement to help the effort by putting their considerable experience and competence to helping others.
"We are told to practice ‘social distancing’ and isolation measures designed to reduce our interaction with others and reduce the opportunities for the virus to spread. Worldwide we have seen that isolation is effective in reducing and slowing down the spread of the virus. So please follow this important advice for as long as it takes. It is vital to protect your local NHS services across the Western Isles.
"I have been so impressed with the planning that has gone on over a number of weeks to prepare for COVID-19. Our staff across the board have excelled themselves and have worked tirelessly to plan and prepare, so that we can care for our patients to the best of our ability in the toughest of times.
"My grateful thanks to all of you for doing what you do so well, especially in the midst of all this planning and preparation work which may soon prove to be vital."
Nationally there are now two officially confirmed cases from Orkney which first became known on Monday night, when the Western Isles NHS very briefly became the only NHS Board to have no official positive test results. These cases mean that multiple numbers of Covid-19 cases are known to be present in every health board area in Scotland.
A total of 76 patients in Scotland who tested positive for coronavirus have now died, it was stated by the Scottish Government today, Wednesday April 1.
That is 16 more than yesterday.
The total for Highland Region was 58 - seven up on yesterday
There are 30 cases shown for Shetland - an increase of one from the previous day.
A total of 17,007 Scottish tests have been concluded so far. Of these:
- 1993 tests were positive. That's up 317 from yesterday, a rise of 16%.
- In all, 1227 of the cases were in the Greater Glasgow, Clyde, Lanarkshire and Lothian areas - an increase of 177 since yesterday, up 17%
The latest national coronavirus figures were confirmed at 2pm today.
The report notes that of the 430 new laboratory reports yesterday, 108 were from the Dundee laboratory which had been unable to submit data over the weekend or Monday morning.
Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has welcomed the support the RAF is providing to island residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.Mr Cameron made his comments as it was revealed that the first diagnoses of the disease had been made in the Western Isles.
He said: “Residents in our island communities will be reassured that the armed forces are being enlisted in the fight against coronavirus.
“Providing airlift capacity could be crucial for people who require urgent treatment.
“The extra resources provided by the Royal Air Force are extremely welcome, as is news that military officers are supporting NHS Western Isles in their planning work.
“Across the country, our armed forces are doing sterling work, reminding us this is truly a national effort helping get us through this health emergency”.
Isles MP Angus Brendan MacNeil said: “I contacted Caledonian MacBrayne after constituents got in touch with concerns that a handful of people who are not normally resident in the islands are coming here to isolate.
“CalMac has informed me that traffic for passengers and cars has dropped to around 5% of normal passenger demand and 60% of normal commercial traffic. They have confirmed that they do seek evidence of island residency or key worker status from travellers who coming by ferry. This is obviously a very welcome step and will go some way I hope to relieve fears. They also have posters in ferry terminals to dissuade non-essential travel.
“However, we are now in a changing situation and is not just about who is travelling to the islands that matters but what we all do to make sure that we are not spreading it amongst ourselves. It is important that we are not spreading it further and therefore we should be staying at home the best we can
“Like every other community around the world, Covid-19 is here amongst us and I wish all those affected a speedy recovery.”