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More than 300 self-isolating from Shetland Covid cluster

A cluster of Covid-19 cases on Shetland has left 300 people self-isolating
A needle is filled from a phial of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

More than 300 people are self-isolating following an outbreak of coronavirus on Shetland.

Health bosses say a further seven people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections to 43.

The cases are being linked to a cluster on the North Mainland, and have sparked a warning the area could be placed under Level 4 restrictions.

Director of public health for NHS Shetland, Susan Laidlaw, said some of those initially infected or contact-traced are beginning to come out of isolation.

She added: “We are confident that we understand the spread of the virus in this current outbreak, and that all the appropriate measures are being taken to control the situation.

“However it does remain very serious, and we are likely to see more positive cases before things, hopefully, settle down again.

“And although most people currently have a relatively mild illness, we still may see people becoming seriously unwell.

“Even with all the extensive contact tracing and testing, there may well be more people in Shetland who have picked up the virus, are infectious but have absolutely no symptoms.”

Dr Laidlaw also hit out at social media comments attacking people who had tested positive for coronavirus.

“This is a highly contagious airborne virus,” she said.

“Blaming people won’t stop it spreading.

“Anyone can be infected at any time but following all the guidance and minimising contact with other people will help to slow it down.”

People on Shetland have again been warned not to host any celebrations for Hogmanay, particularly in light of the growing Covid cluster.

Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon urged people not to mix with other households on December 31 to help stem the spread of the disease.

Dr Laidlaw said: “The hosting of any kind of celebration that draws a crowd would be irresponsible and risk triggering more outbreaks like the one we are currently dealing with.

“We have increased the already stringent precautions to protect the most vulnerable people in our cares homes especially, and sadly at present, cannot allow indoor visiting unless absolutely essential.

“All infection control precautions are being reviewed and reinforced.

“We are appealing to every individual in our community, no matter how young or old you are, to consider others in everything you do.

“We can stop this but we have to work together.”

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