Coronavirus cases rise by one

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the isles has risen to 16.

One further person has tested positive for the virus, according to Scottish government figures published at 2pm on Wednesday.

Across Scotland the number rose to 227, up from 195, with three deaths now reported.

The testing regime has changed since the response to the pandemic moved into the “delay” phase, meaning that only tests undertaken for people who are unwell in hospital with suspected Covid-19 are being taken, and there will be no community testing.


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  • Helen Braynis PhD

    • March 18th, 2020 17:54

    When will NHS Shetland implement WHO recommendations on isolation? These include anyone in close contact with a case two days before symptoms should be tested, and self isolation should continue for two weeks after symptoms disappear.

    Transparency would also be useful, for example – has pestilence reached every corner of the isles yet? Are the high numbers because it is peaking earlier in Shetland than mainland Scotland? When will testing as per WHO recommendations be implemented?

    • Kennedy Stewart

      • March 20th, 2020 21:29

      Your questions are entirely valid Helen. What is alarming is how little challenge there has been to our government’s decision to take a different path from that recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Shetland, Scotland and the UK is out of synch with almost everywhere else in how we are trying to tackle this coronavirus. We are not “following the science”, as ‘experts’ and politicians of various colours frequently suggest. The scientific community is itself divided over this issue and we are following a particular reading of the science.

      WHO’s consistent advice has been to test, track and trace every suspected case of coronavirus. The overwhelming majority of countries are taking this approach. The UK Scientific Advisory Group For Emergencies (SAGE), the body advising our politicians, do not believe we can contain the virus using the WHO’s methodology, so our government has allowed the virus to spread, while attempting to control it in a manner that doesn’t put excessive pressure on the NHS at any particular point during the outbreak.

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • March 20th, 2020 21:31

        My opinion is worth little on this matter – but the fact the UK is taking a different approach concerns me, given the WHO’s history in dealing with virus outbreaks such as this. What disturbs me is the apparent lack of awareness about UK exceptionalism on this issue. We must come together to overcome this problem but people will only buy into a collective effort if they have at least a basic understanding of what we are trying to do and why. “We know best – trust us” will not do. Scrutiny, questions and critique are vital when there is still much to learn and so much is at stake. You are not an idiot. Please don’t let name calling, or whatever, put you off getting better informed about this most crucial of matters.

      • laurence paton

        • March 21st, 2020 13:10

        At last count 186 out of the 195 countries that presently exist have recorded cases….How do you know who is taking exactly what advice, how many tests are being done or how those governments rhetoric differs from the actual reality ?

      • ian Tinkler

        • March 21st, 2020 16:10

        Kennedy, the advice from the WHO, splendid as it is is dated and has proven wholly unsuccessful. We are beyond tracking and testing. There are simply not the facilities to spare in terms of accurate, prompt test availability or human resources to track all contacts.
        We are running the risk of spreading this disease due to Human panic, whole populations are shifting in Scotland from the cities into the countryside, just as entire communities in Italy exited the north and went to relatives in the south. That action just spreads the disease. That action enabled the spread to Shetland.
        We have much ignorance and false information in the media, and as always the headless-chicken doom-merchants tell fake tails of doom. Only yesterday a self-ordained fitness person Facebooked about a boy trapped with the corpse of his sister for three days. The actual truth no otherwise healthy child has died worldwide of Covid19, not one ever. The boy was a man, the sister was 47 and died of status epilepticus! Just what possesses people to peddle such tripe is beyond comprehension, but the online media is awash with it.

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • March 22nd, 2020 18:56

        Laurence – I read most countries are taking a lead from South Korea, which has been following WHO guidelines, here:

        I don’t think anybody knows which governments are taking exactly what advice, how many tests are being done by every one of them or how their rhetoric differs from the actual reality. I certainly don’t know and never claimed I did. I said the majority of countries are adopting the WHO approach, successfully or otherwise.

        I appreciate The Guardian isn’t gospel and apologise if you, or anybody else, has evidence contrary to what they have stated.

        You don’t need to know exactly what every country is doing to see the UK approach is different, focusing on controlling the spread of the virus as opposed to containing it.

        Time will tell whether this alternative approach has been for better or worse.

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • March 23rd, 2020 20:23

        Ian T – South Korea has followed WHO guidelines, testing more people per capita than anywhere else, and the number of new cases there has dropped drastically.

        The country recorded 64 new cases of Covid-19 yesterday, compared with a peak of 909 cases on February 29th.

        I understand there is every chance the virus will spread again in South Korea (and China too) once social contact restrictions are lifted, but at the very least their efforts to contain the spread has bought them more time.

        More time to make sure their NHS and other essential services are prepared as well as possible. More time to acquire testing capability. More time to shield those most at risk from the virus as best as possible.

        You claim the WHO approach has been unsuccessful. South Korea adopted it and has had more success fighting this virus than anywhere else.

        I appreciate what works in one country may not work elsewhere. What concerns me is our governments (UK and Scottish) have paid little heed to the likes of South Korea and taken a path at odds with almost everywhere else.

        A failure to adequately explain why has induced panic as much as anything else.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 24th, 2020 7:38

        Kennedy, As yet, South Korea has more covid cases than the UK. There will be little choice but soon to lift their lockdown otherwise starvation becomes a problem. The Virus will still be there.
        The UK approach has been less draconian and in the longterm may prove less damaging to peoples health. Now S Korea has claimed to have tested 338 thousand at least. An impresive number, the tests have saved not one life nor curred anyone. Vital resources, both human and material wasted. Blanket testing on a locked-down society is utterly pointless. The test is only positive once incubation is over and the illness is being suffered and active, other symptoms will let you know that in any case, under total lockdown, why test. Specifically aimed limited testing would be far more useful.
        Now the UK resources are going into the new antibody test. That tells us who is immune, a far far more useful thing to know.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 24th, 2020 8:36

        Further to the above, S Korea had 76 new cases yesterday, an infection rate of 176 per million. The UK had no new cases and an infection rate of 98 per million. Snapshot statistics are absolutely unreliable but so is using the Guardian as a scientific database.
        Stay indoors to stay safe, random testing at hundreds of pounds a test is a waste of money. Now, essential workers, that is a different story.

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • March 24th, 2020 20:14

        Ian T- Snapshot statistics are unreliable if you just make them up. You say “the UK had no new cases” of this coronavirus yesterday (23/3). We had 967 new cases confirmed and we’re only testing the sick in hospitals. The figures are on the website you quoted!

        You said earlier in this thread: “We have much ignorance and false information in the media.” I suggest you focus on getting your facts right before you start bashing The Guardian or the press at large. Unless of course you have abandoned the truth and decided to take the path of the most habitual of liars Donald Trump? In which case I’d have more success debating this issue (or any other) with a brick!

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 25th, 2020 9:47

        At the time of writing Kennedy, my figures were correct, check the date/time references. Of much more of value and relevance to Shetland, as yet no new cases of covid as yet.
        Now stop panicking and do like me. I have volunteered to come out of retirement and rejoin the NHS. I am qualified to help and will do so without question if I can. Now just stop your moaning, spreading of alarmist criticism and postulating about something you know little. Nothing is much worse than raising fear and alarm when one is not remotely qualified so to do.

      • Kennedy Stewart

        • March 26th, 2020 8:12

        Ian T – I’d advise you to crawl out of your own behind, but you appear so far up it any effort to to do so would likely be futile. I’ll leave it for others to read this discussion and decide who knows what between us.

        With the government shutting down Parliament, and effective scrutiny of its actions, yesterday (ala Brexit prorogation) there is no prospect of outside pressure changing their course at the moment. Everybody’s time, is therefore, best spent dealing with the practicalities of the situation we face for now.

        Your offer to come out of retirement to help the health service is commendable and I wish you all the best with that. It was inspirational to see over half a million people sign up yesterday to volunteer with the NHS.

        I remain sceptical about the path our government is on with this coronavirus but the likes of these NHS volunteers give me hope. I urge everybody to follow their lead and do whatever they can to look after themselves, those around them and other people in general during these challenging times.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 26th, 2020 10:38

        What a charmer you are Kennedy. Base insults are usually from people who have lost a rational argument so I will wish you well.
        Good to see your motivations are political rather like the newspaper you keep quoting from. If you believe what you babble on about Parliament Shutting down rational argument is pointless. Try not to be too frightened and really understand a little science and use some common sense.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 19th, 2020 12:02

    For heaven’s sake Helen, we have gone beyond our capacity to trace, let alone test. Whatever did you write your PhD thesis in, headlesschikenology or alarmistscarmongology?!

  • Ian Simmins

    • March 19th, 2020 19:04

    Faroes which have fixed links between the islands have 3 times as many cases as Shetland. May just be coincidence but i would have thought that fixed links help spread disease more quickly.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 20th, 2020 14:36

    Yes Ian, a car in a tunnel does go a little bit faster than a ferry. So the spread by fixed link will perhaps be accelerated by a few minutes. Now, what probably makes more sense is that Faroe has a population of 450,000 rather more than 3 times that of Shetland., proportionally per head of population, Faroe, fixed links and all is doing rather better than us!!!

    • geoff leask

      • March 21st, 2020 1:07

      Ian T. I think you may have accidently hit an extra 0 there – The current population of the Faroe Islands is c. 50,000 (and given the comments above is probably, likely, maybe, potentially going to decline fairly drastically soon.)

    • Julian Arculus

      • March 21st, 2020 6:19

      Ian, Faroe had a population of 51,783 as of June 2019 (rather more than double, but nowhere near three times the population of Shetland). Unlike Shetland they are almost certainly testing for Covid-19 more widely in the community, so it is not possible to directly compare our current figure of 24 hospital tested cases to their 80.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 21st, 2020 9:21

    Whoops, no. I gave the population of Faro!! Portugal!!! Dyslexia rules OK!!!!

  • ian Tinkler

    • March 22nd, 2020 18:13

    Just to state the obvious. If you are afraid for yourself, relatives and loved ones. All you have to do is stay inside your house. It is as simple as that. This Virus can not get to you if you do that simple thing. It is not rocket science!!!

    • David Alder

      • March 24th, 2020 0:27

      Yes it can, via an envelope retrieved from a mailbox, groceries and any other items brought into your home that have been handled by other people. There are some strategies you may employ to minimize risk of contamination. Wear disposable gloves when retrieving mail, disinfect the mail before bringing it into your house. Junk mail should go directly from the mailbox to the bin. Retrieve mail only every two to three days to minimize exposure. As to groceries, avoid fresh produce. Wear disposable gloves when shopping. Only buy canned or frozen items and sanitize them before putting into storage. Ideally, buy enough that you can rotate the stock. Use only grocery items, canned or frozen that have been in your possession for 10 days or more. On the other hand if you literally stay in your house and not opened the door to anyone or thing, for the next month or two, or three, or four… the virus probably will not be able to get to you.

      We spent a month in Shetland two years ago. It is a blessed place with wonderful people.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 24th, 2020 9:31

        Yes, David, there is always contact spread. Now a family member who is a Pathologist told me, reliably, that wast tissues, NHS masks etc fro intensive care and pulmonary resuscitation units was being recycled into toilet paper. The Government are aiming to eliminate the stupids from the UK ASAP. I know this to be true there was an article online in the Daily Scarmonger online.

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