Triage system on pier is called for

Questions have been raised over whether a triage system could operate at Victoria Pier during the cruise ship season to assess visitors and help mitigate against the potential impact of the coronavirus.

North Mainland councillor Andrea Manson raised the issue at this week’s meeting of the integration joint board.

She said cruise ships brought “enormous pressure on the Gilbert Bain Hospital”.

It came during discussions around next year’s budget.

The meeting heard talks had been held at the emergency planning forum, which was said to be satisfied sufficient plans were in place.

Earlier in the meeting Allison Duncan questioned whether there was any contingency budget planned to deal with a potential outbreak of COVID-19.

Finance official Karl Williamson said costs would have to be absorbed in the short term, although he hoped the UK government would later come to cover additional expenses.

Director of community health Simon Bokor-Ingram told the meeting: “At the end of the year, when it comes to the final reckoning, if there’s any government support then – as long as we can quantify our costs – then we’ll have a case.”

North Mainland councillor Emma Macdonald said the virus was “no different from flu.”

“We don’t know how bad it’s going to be. We don’t know who’s going to get it.

“I think we have to keep it in perspective. We manage things like the flu all the time.”


Add Your Comment
  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 6th, 2020 12:48

    Triage for cruise ship visitors! I have heard some daft ideas in my time, but this one takes the biscuit. Triage is a term used for dealing with mass casualties after some kind of horrific disaster, bomb, earthquake, nerve gas, mass poisoning, nuclear or chemical biological attack, or battlefield injuries.
    Casualties are divided int three groups, no urgent (treatment can wait), urgent (bleeding out, respiratory compromise, etc. fast treatments vital to maintain any hope of survival ) and hopeless, (death unavoidable, usually pain killers and call the chaplain and TLC).
    Just what kind of cruise ships are we expecting?

    • John Ridland

      • March 7th, 2020 15:44

      For something that is less harmful than a bad cold or a mild flu ,
      The UK is now in panic melt down, The tail is now waging the dog,
      With the gutter press an the BBC /ITV /SKY 100% to blame,
      Truly astonishing,,,,,,

      • Brian Smith

        • March 7th, 2020 17:45

        Another Trump medic

      • Graham Fleming

        • March 7th, 2020 18:11

        The pathetic response by Westminster is so typical, 3 deaths and now thousands possibly to come, Smirky Johnson, still content on wrecking the British Economy, with Brexit, Coronavirus mania is about to hit, we need planning and direction now,(possibly a year out before a vaccine) ,it ain’t looking good, survival of the fittest, and I am ok jack pull the ladder up attitude, is totally insufficient ,Its time for local government action plans.NOW.

      • John M Scott

        • March 8th, 2020 7:41

        I agree, the headless chicken syndrome has kicked in.

        On a serious note though, this panic could have a serious impact on the cruise industry which Shetland depends on for income from tourism. In addition, if the quarantine is extended to the Northlink ferry services, then we have a major problem. This is an opportunity for the government in Edinburgh and the national government at Westminster to work together for the good of all.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 8th, 2020 17:40

        “The pathetic response by Westminster”! It does not take long for a S nasty party boy to crawl out of the woodwork and blame Westminster and “Smirky Johnson”, how very predictable, how very sad..

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 7th, 2020 16:55

    If you want something really to wet your underwear over try antibiotic-resistant bacteria . That is a real indiscriminate mass killer and it is probably up your nose already Deaths, 700,000 people a year worldwide, more than 33,000 people in Europe alone! The gutter press the BBC /ITV /SKY tend to ignore this fact; they would rather peddle sensationalist hype for the ignorant sheep to wow and bleat over.

  • John Ridland

    • March 8th, 2020 14:35

    Brian Smith , Really helpful comment , as per,.!

  • Ali Inkster

    • March 8th, 2020 16:37

    I0000 died in the UK of seasonal flu last year, a figure which was considerably lower than usual. 3 deaths from corona and some folk are seriously losing the plot. Funny that it is the same folk losing the plot over brexit.

  • Kerrie Meyer

    • March 9th, 2020 0:28

    I am astonished by the statement from the North Mainland councillor Emma Macdonald who stated in the article, “the virus was no different from flu.” WRONG! COVID-19 is far more virulent than basic flu.  In addition, the mortality rate of basic flu is less the 0.5% whilst according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 has a mortality rate of 3.4% which is 3 times the mortality rate of ordinary flu. She should have checked the World Health Organisation website and the science before she made such an inaccurate public statement.

    With aircraft still landing from Milan, Italy at UK airports without any passenger checks and the vista of 105 cruise ships with 92,000 passengers and coming to Shetland this year (notwithstanding Sumburgh Airport and Northlink ferry passengers), people of a certain age and those with existing health issues are currently somewhere between ‘very concerned’ and ‘terrified’. As a public figure she shouldn’t make statements that appear to diminish this virus as being no worse than flu – when in actual fact the complete opposite is true.

    • Brian Smith

      • March 9th, 2020 10:49

      There is also the elementary point that there is no vaccine and no immunity …

  • Julian Arculus

    • March 9th, 2020 7:41

    Not sure where you get that 10,000 UK Flu deaths figure for last year from, Ali. NHS England are saying; “3,157 people were admitted to an Intensive Care Unit or High Dependency Unit as a result of confirmed flu across all of the UK during the 2018/19 flu season, of whom 312 died. In 2018/19, there were an estimated 1,692 deaths associated with flu.”

  • Kerrie Meyer

    • March 9th, 2020 8:39

    I’ve noted comments to this article. Sadly the assumption the Coronavirus is less harmful than a bad cold or mild flu is flawed. COVID-19 is far more virulent than basic flu. In addition, the mortality rate of basic flu is less the 0.5% whilst according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-19 has a mortality rate of 3.4% which is 3X the mortality rate of flu. Should the virus take hold in the UK over the next weeks and months which seems highly likely, the resultant number of deaths has been estimated to be in the region of 100,000. One needs to check the World Health Organisation website and the science before making watered down and inaccurate public statements.

    I agree the island should plan to check all passengers whether by cruise ship, ferry or aircraft, but to be subjected to those who haven’t done their research which is freely available from the experts and professionals – then making vastly incorrect statements that diminishes this virus as being no worse than a cold or flu – when in actual fact the complete opposite is true. We all need to plan for the worst – and hope for the best.

    • john ridland

      • March 9th, 2020 11:11

      Kerrie Meyer, Maybe you should/could try a wee bit o common wit instead of Aa the BS you read an view on the box….!

      • Kerrie Meyer

        • March 9th, 2020 13:14

        So John Ridland and Ian Tinkler appear to disagree with both the World Health Organisation and the professional scientists on the subject and facts surrounding the potential pandemic of the COVID-19 virus?

        Perhaps they also disagree that climate change is occurring, believe the Earth is flat and regularly see trolls at the bottom of their gardens?

        As for Ian Tinkler stating “people (possible carriers) incubating this virus show no detectable symptoms”, although not wholly proven, Chinese researchers did appear to confirm a case of asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus: A 20-year-old woman from Wuhan passed it to five of her family members but never got physically sick herself.

        There is much to learn yet about the COVID-19 virus.

        So what’s wrong about planning for the worst – and hoping for the best?

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 9th, 2020 9:32

    Kerrie Meyer, Just quit your scaremongering.
    As people incubating this virus show no detectable symptoms at all just how would you check passenger entering Shetland? No doubt you have not a clue how to diagnose the asymptomatic carrier! Perhaps your best bet would be an uninhabited island out of touch with humanity, that might at least stop your ignorant and alarmist nonsense.

  • David Spence

    • March 9th, 2020 14:01

    It is interesting to note that, most likely, nobody had ever known or learned of the Corona Virus up until a few months ago.

    What is the source of this virus, how did it manage to spread so quickly, what medical evidence is there in terms of its origins and history, is it a new form of virus or has it been manufactured in a laboratory as part and parcel of biological warfare? In other words, it is not natural within nature itself?

    It seems evident in recent times, the amount of scare mongering there is about certain illnesses, diseases and/or viruses becoming more evident through the media. Who gains from such publicity and what other motives are there for the future about unknown or predicted outcomes from the WHO or governments?

    It will be interesting to note such public announcements in the future regarding health, immune system and unknown epidemics suddenly appearing and putting fear into the population for someones hidden agenda of making the quick buck scenario????

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 9th, 2020 16:41

    David, all the evidence suggests it is an animal virus that was transferred to humans in a wild animal meat market. Probably a pangolin being the original host animal. I have heard bats also could be a host creature. Both are used in the production of “alternative medicine” in The East.
    Most flu come from chickens and pigs, Ebola from bushmeat, HIV from apes and monkeys. It is not unusual for a virus to infect several species so eating exotic animal products is stupid and dangerous. Sadly plenty are ignorant and stupid when it comes to “Alternative Medicine”. Often the ignorant such as the anti vaccine


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