Isle of Lewis seeing ‘significant’ increase in Covid cases

NHS Western Isles records 37 new cases on Friday - it's highest daily total since the start of the pandemic.

Isle of Lewis seeing ‘significant’ increase in Covid cases Getty Images
Stornoway: NHS Western Isles has registered highest number of daily Covid cases.

The Isle of Lewis is seeing a significant increase in Covid cases, according to the local health board.

NHS Western Isles says it recorded 37 cases on Friday night, which is the region’s highest number of daily positive cases since the start of the pandemic and more than was registered in the entire first half of last year.

Local residents are being urged to minimise close contact with others.

Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, said: “Whilst many people are experiencing mild symptoms, there are others who are feeling very unwell with the virus and there are individuals in our community who remain vulnerable, at risk and of concern. 

“Whilst government restrictions have reduced over recent months, we all have a responsibility to protect our local communities and we would urge individuals to take simple yet effective precautions to protect themselves, those around them and our extremely vulnerable health and social care services which are currently under significant and increasing pressure.”

Covid-19 infections remain at or near record levels in all four UK nations, new figures suggest, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

Around one in 80 people in private households in Scotland had Covid-19 in the week to October 30, down slightly from one in 75 the previous week, and below September’s peak of one in 45.

Jamieson also said the Isle of Lewis’ Covid testing system is under “unprecented pressure”.

He said: This has resulted in recent daily backlogs in terms of those waiting for tests. We do apologise for that and appreciate everyone’s patience.

“To help manage this increased demand we have requested a mobile testing unit from the mainland and this is expected towards the end of next week.

“The mobile testing unit will be located in Lewis for a period. The current demand for testing is solely in Lewis, we do not have the same pressure in our other island areas. 

“We are also looking at current staffing levels and how we can redeploy staff from other services to meet current areas of demand.”

Scotland recorded 25 coronavirus-linked deaths and 2389 new cases on Friday.

It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is 9267.

The daily test positivity rate was 8.3%, up from 7.2% the previous day, according to figures published by the Scottish Government.