The cumulative total of Covid cases in Orkney is now at 4,879.
From 28th of March to 3rd April 2022 there were 126 positive Covid cases recorded in Orkney.
The stats for Scotland published on 7th of April are as follows:
- 6,778 new cases of COVID-19 reported
- 33 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive
- 27 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
- 2,306 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19
- 4,367,783 people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, 4,096,768 have received their second dose, and have 3,457,079 received a third dose or booster
From Monday 11th of April these figures will no longer be available on the Scottish Government website.
The Scottish Government (SG) will no longer provide updates to the Coronavirus (COVID-19): daily data for Scotland page on gov.scot from Monday 11 April onwards, but will instead clearly signpost to the range of COVID-19 data published – including headline data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations, deaths and vaccinations published on the PHS dashboard as well as to other sources of data reported elsewhere. Data on the number of patients with recently confirmed COVID-19 in hospital and ICU has now been added to the PHS daily dashboard.Statistics
Future of COVID-19 Data Reporting
The high number of people extremely ill with Covid and having to be admitted to hospital continues to affect the services provided by the NHS.
- 2,306 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19; of these, 27 were in intensive care
- in addition, yesterday 6 confirmed COVID-19 patients were in intensive care longer than 28 days
- in the week ending 3 April, 1,236 patients with confirmed COVID-19 were admitted to hospital
- in the week ending 6 April, 34 patients with confirmed COVID-19 were admitted to intensive care
- 39,291 inpatients who tested positive for COVID-19 have been discharged from hospital since 5 March 2020
- as at 6 April, 1,679 people were delayed in hospital.
As the effectiveness of the vaccine begins to weaken a 4th jag (booster) is being offered but there are many vulnerable people who have not yet had this. As at 5 April, 324 (31%) adult care homes had a current case of suspected COVID-19. In the week 28 March to 3 April, there were 414 new confirmed positive COVID‑19 cases among care home residents and 612 among care home staff.
- get the vaccine or the vaccine booster
- if you don’t have symptoms take lateral flow tests twice a week, and if visiting someone vulnerable or going to a crowded place
- if you have symptoms – self isolate and book a PCR test
- you must wear a face covering (unless exempt) in most indoor public spaces and on public transport
- open windows when meeting indoors
- wash your hands regularly, and cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing
- work from home as well as the office if you can – businesses and workplaces should follow the safer workplace guidance
- use the apps: COVID status (vaccine passport) and Protect Scotland
Meanwhile in the Western Isles… disruption not only to ferry services but also to the hospital http://www.hebrides-news.com/more-hospital-surgery-halted-covid-outbreak-7422.html
Lessons can be learned about how quickly problems can escalate. Western Isles hospital (which is considerably larger than the Balfour) currently has 15 Covid-19 patients, recent high infection rates are reflected in a slowly upwards creeping death toll… (all data from PHS dashboard) together with the disruptions of public life this shows that it would be desirable to reduce infection numbers overall instead of simply pretending all is ‘safe’. It isn’t.
In Orkney, we have been kept in the dark about hospitalisations since the very beginning. From 5 patients onwards, the number should have been published. However, if the Balfour only had a surge capacity of 4 Covid beds plus 2 ventilation places for temporary use for patients ‘awaiting transfer off island to ICU facilities’ (https://www.orkney.gov.uk/Files/Committees-and-Agendas/IJB/IJB2021/IJB10-02-2021/I11__Winter_Plan.pdf), and patients are counted where they are at midnight (result of a FOI request), it is quite clear that the reporting threshold could in practice never be reached in Orkney because patients might have been transferred to ARI rather swiftly… and most likely often before midnight.
Providing care at a mainland hospital which is better equipped to deal with complex cases is certainly a good thing and may save lives. As island residents we all depend on such care arrangements. But withholding important information – by default – from the Orkney population and thereby contributing to a perception which fuels complacency based on seemingly low numbers of hospital care needing patients, raises serious questions about the management of this (and any future) pandemic.
It is absolute nonsense that patient confidentiality would be at risk if – out of a population of over 22,000 people(!) – any local hospitalisation numbers were published correctly; and it would be irrelevant whether the number was 1 or 3 or 5 or 20…
And perhaps now is even more important than ever to publish all data timely and in a transparent manner. Restrictions have eased and will ease even further in the near future, access to testing will reduce and so forth. The public has a right to see for themselves when/if hospitalisations pick up which could be an indicator of severe variants, waning immunity etc.
After the experiences of the last two years, people may not wish to become sentinel animals who wait until the government may – or may not – inform them about what is happening if it is already in full swing.
In times of a pandemic, people must be able to conduct their own personal risk assessments. They have not outsorced this responsibility to the local authorities or the NHS Orkney.