There are still no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Outer Hebrides, says NHS Western Isles.

Official advice remains that, if you develop flu like symptoms, please do not attend your GP or hospital but call your GP or NHS24 on 111 for advice if you need it.  People with a new onset of continuous cough or high temperature should self-isolate for seven days.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan commented on yesterday's (Thursday 12 March) updated official advice on Coronavirus, and the announcement by Loganair that there will be a reduction in scheduled flights.

An NHS Western Isles spokesperson said: "Nobody in the Western Isles has tested positive for Coronavirus to date." It’s understood that a number of beds have been set aside for isolation and treatment of potential cases of the virus in the islands.

The news comes as CalMac confirmed they have developed contingency plans to deal with any disruption caused by the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As of 2pm yesterday, there have been 60 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across Scotland.

Alasdair Allan MSP said:“While we have not yet had any confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the Western Isles, we do need to prepare ourselves for that eventuality. It is clear that, for a period of time, people may need to change the way that they normally live their lives.

“The outbreak has the potential to cause significant disruption for islanders in particular because of any possible impact on ferries and planes. It is clear that a great deal of contingency planning is being done by all agencies around these questions and I continue to discuss with ministers the importance of having contingency plans in place which enable the continuity of supplies to the islands. This is something I have also discussed with the companies concerned.

“This is a very serious issue and it is important that, in times like these, we all follow the advice of health care professionals. It is important to note that the advice has been today updated to include such matters as advice about school trips abroad, mass gatherings of people, and also what steps people should take if they have symptoms.

“The Scottish Government is providing regular updates at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19.  Public health advice from the NHS can be found at:www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus. People who do not have symptoms but are looking for general advice can phone the free helpline 0800 028 2816.”

You can reduce your risk of getting and spreading respiratory infections by:

  • avoiding direct hand contact with your eyes, nose and mouth
  • maintaining good hand hygiene - washing hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser before eating and drinking, and after coughing, sneezing and going to the toilet
  • avoiding direct contact with people that have a respiratory illness and avoiding using their personal items such as their mobile phone
  • covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with disposable tissues and disposing of them in the nearest waste bin after use

Coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline

If you do not have symptoms and are looking for general information, a free helpline has been set up on 0800 028 2816.

The helpline is open:

  • Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 10.00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm