Two individuals in the Western Isles have tested positive for COVID-19.

Both are based on the Isle of Lewis.

This was publicly announced today (14.34, Tuesday March 31) by NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson.

"To protect patient confidentiality, we will not be providing any further details of the individuals," the statement continued.

NHS Western Isles is now taking steps to identify the possible routes of infection. 

Mr Jamieson, and NHS Western Isles Chair, Ian Burgess, released the following statement: “Whilst we are clearly disappointed that we now have confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Western Isles, we would reassure members of the public that we have been preparing for this situation over a number of weeks and we are heartened by the fact that so many people across our islands have been following the government guidelines to stay at home, to help us prevent any further spread of cases.

“We cannot emphasise enough the importance of staying at home and social distancing at this time.”

A Comhairle nan Eilean Siar spokesperson, said: “Whilst disappointing, this is not unexpected and for several weeks now the Comhairle has been preparing, along with Public Health and other partner agencies, for such an eventuality.

“It is now more important than ever before that everyone follows the Scottish Government advice - particularly to stay at home unless absolutely essential - and to observe physical distancing.”

SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Alasdair Allan said:“The news that two people on the Isle of Lewis have tested positive for coronavirus is concerning.  My thoughts are with the individuals involved and their families, and I hope they make a full and speedy recovery.

“This news shows that no corner of Scotland is safe from the virus. I know that health and other essential services in the islands are doing an exceptional job. We now need to help them now by trying to contain the spread of the virus within the islands and across Scotland. I would urge all islanders to help save lives and please stay at home.”

Earlier Mr Jamieson - in a broadcast on Twitter (https://twitter.com/nhswi/status/1244724025873530880?s=21) said preparations on the Islands now include the basing of two military officers at NHSWI headquarters on South Beach.  He emphasised the need to maintain the highest possible vigilance and to maintain the lockdown as tightly as possible.

These Island cases have not been reported yet in the national figures. Neither have the first cases from Orkney which became known last night.  These cases mean that Covid19 cases are known to be present in every health board area in Scotland.

A total of 60 patients in Scotland who tested positive for coronavirus have now died, it was stated by the Scottish Government today, Tuesday March 31.

That is 13 more than yesterday.

There are now 135 people in intensive care, a rise of 27 overnight.

The total for Highland Region was 51 - seven up on yesterday

There are 29 cases shown for Shetland - an increase of two from the previous day.

A total of 15,895 Scottish tests have been concluded so far. Of these:

  • 1993 tests were positive. That's up 430 from yesterday, a rise of 27.5%.
  • In all, 1050 of the cases were in the Greater Glasgow, Clyde, Lanarkshire and Lothian areas - an increase of 166 since yesterday, up 19.5%

The latest national coronavirus figures were confirmed at 2pm today.

Please note: delays to reporting over the weekend have contributed to the increase in total test figures and deaths confirmed today, the Scottish Government says.

Meanwhile Western Isles police warned on Twitter: "Due to #Coronavirus criminals are targeting the vulnerable. Don’t give people money, bank details or cards if they offer to do shopping on your behalf if you don’t know them. Never be afraid to say ‘No, thank you’ & close the door."