Coronavirus: Covid-19 confirmed in Western Isles and Orkney

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NHS Western Isles

Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the Western Isles and Orkney.

A single case in Orkney and two in Lewis, in the Western Isles, mean the virus has now been confirmed in all Scottish health board areas.

Details of the island cases have been released by local health boards.

They have not yet been reflected in Scottish government's Scotland-wide figures for confirmed cases.

The Orkney health board released details of its case on Monday and NHS Western Isles on Tuesday.

NHS Orkney's chief executive Gerry O' Brien said confirming the virus, known as Covid-19, was in the islands was "inevitable", but should not cause "additional alarm or distress to anyone".

He said: "We fully understand that the current situation is causing anxiety across Orkney, but we want to reassure people that we have taken and continue to take steps to protect both patients and staff from any unnecessary exposure to Covid-19".

Government guidance

NHS Western Isles said it was "disappointed" to confirm the presence of the virus in the isles and it has begun an investigation into the route of infection.

Along with local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, it urged people to follow government guidance on social distancing and leaving home only when "absolutely essential".

Local MSP Alasdair Allan said his thoughts were with the two people confirmed as having the virus, and their families.

In recent weeks, measures have been taken to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus to the Western Isles.

Ferry services have been reduced and operator Caledonian MacBrayne asked that only islanders used them.

An assessment centre has also been set up in a school and leisure complex in Barra, in the south of the island chain, because of the distance to reach hospital services.