First island death where Covid-19 was recorded as the primary cause

There’s a palpable sense of loss on Barra, where a resident has died as a direct result of coronavirus.

By John A. MacInnes
Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 8:48 am
The sense of loss on the island is evident from posts on social media.
The sense of loss on the island is evident from posts on social media.

NHS Western Isles has confirmed that an island resident has died where the direct cause of death has been recorded as Covid-19.

The Barra outbreak saw locals initiating a form of self-isolation on the island of around 1200 residents, where more than 50 positive cases had previously been recorded.

Following a 14-day period with no further positive cases being detected within the community, the outbreak was closed by the local health board in line with national guidelines.

NHS Western Isles chief executive, Gordon Jamieson commented: “I would like to extend my condolences to the family at this very sad time.”

Speaking via their social media platform, The Barra and Vatersay Covid-19 Forum said: ”Our island has now lost a respected member of our community, leaving a family devastated in grief – directly because of this virus.

“This sadness is felt throughout every village in our community. We wish to pass on our thoughts, prayers and sympathies to the family at such a heartbreaking time.”

The current total of Covid-19 tests carried out in the Western Isles is 8315 with a total of positive cases sitting at 241.

The outbreak on Lewis, centred on the Western Isles Hospital currently stands at 85, with a further four cases in other parts of the islands which are linked to that outbreak.

The rollout of Covid-19 vaccine in the Outer Hebrides is now well underway, with many nursing home residents now receiving their second dose, with those whose lives are most at risk from the virus being prioritised within the remainder of the first phase of the programme.

If you are eligible, you will be contacted as part of the NHS Western Isles vaccination programme, in line with the nationally defined priority groups.

If you have been given an appointment and are unable to attend or would like to rearrange your appointment, the local health board appeal to you to let them know as soon as possible so that your appointment can be offered to someone else, and so they can reduce the risk of vaccine wastage. To do this please tel. 0808 196 8383.