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A total of 19 individuals in South Uist have now tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19 infection, as of Tuesday morning.
Test and Protect actions are ongoing. The individuals are from the southern end of the Uists.
One patient with the infection has been transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow for treatment. NHS Western Isles says it has no further information about their condition. All other patients are managing their symptoms at home.
Contact tracing is ongoing. Close contacts are being advised to self-isolate and other identified contacts are being followed up and given appropriate advice.
A Problem Assessment Group (PAG) met on Friday and an Incident Management Team (IMT) met on Monday and is working with Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland to provide advice and support.
NHS Western Isles has taken the decision to restrict visiting in Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh (Uist and Barra Hospital) to essential visiting only, with immediate effect, as a precautionary measure.
The outbreak has led to the closure of Uist schools, the Daliburgh care home, Cothrom Òg nursery and Am Politician pub on Eriskay.
NHS Western Isles director of Public Health, Dr Maggie Watts, said: ‘We would like to reassure our local communities and visitors to the island that we are taking all necessary steps to contain the virus but it is vital that everyone in the Western Isles follows the current Scottish Government restrictions and FACTS guidance to limit any spread of the virus.’
NHS Western Isles chief executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: ‘Our staff are working extremely hard in terms of Test and Protect. If we are to be able to contain and suppress this outbreak, people must follow the rules. Covid-19 thrives on complacency.’
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has urged close adherence to public health guidance in light of the recent spread of Covid-19 in South Uist and Eriskay.
Mr Allan commented: ‘I can only urge everyone to adhere closely to public health guidance. If you develop symptoms, you can book a test using the local phoneline on 01851 601151. The symptoms are a new persistent cough, a fever or loss of smell or taste.
‘If you have questions about self-isolating, testing or symptoms, your first port of call is www.nhsinform.scot
‘Please limit your contact with other households and avoid car-sharing. Ensure physical distancing and good hand hygiene. People should work from home if they can and avoid non-essential travel. We all need to abide by public health guidance, which matters now more than ever.’