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Highland GP highlights vital role of public in reducing Covid-19 transmission rates as vaccinations eagerly awaited

By Hector MacKenzie

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Dr Ross Jaffrey
Dr Ross Jaffrey

THE Ross-shire and wider Highland public can help front line critical care staff facing Covid-19 spikes by playing their part reducing transmission of the virus.

That's the view of Highland GP Dr Ross Jaffrey of the Safe Hands, Saves Lives group which provides updates on the coronavirus crisis from a medical standpoint.

He said it would be a busy week for primary care services in the Highlands and around Scotland as vaccination programmes begin.

These are "likely to be ongoing for months" but he said there was lots of community support forthcoming "particularly with venues to assist safe delivery of the vaccines".

A number of medical groups are awaiting the arrival of vaccine stocks with supply expected to pick up as the month goes on.

Dr Jaffrey said: "Keep your eyes on practice websites and local forums for plans relevant to your location. Remember also plans may change at very short notice."

He said that while it is looking increasingly likely that further measures will be put in place in England, Scottish levels appear to have plateaued and it is unclear if Scotland’s restrictions will follow suit.

He noted that in Highland, rates are just over 200/100,000 but with a wide geographical spread. Some parts of London have rates 10 times as high.

He said Scottish intensive care unit Covid-19 admissions have doubled in two weeks and hospital admissions are back at April 2020 levels. He said: "Last time this peak was driven down rapidly – the general public achieved this. The main issue appears to be the ability to effectively self-isolate particularly for the self-employed. More support to enable this would really make a difference. Front line critical care staff across Scotland need us to work together to reduce transmission. Fortunately only a small minority need hospital care - with high case numbers that minority gets increasingly significant."

Related: Covid outbreaks at two Ross-shire care homes

Seven cases of Covid-19 at Fodderty care home

Neighbouring Ross towns are Covid hotspots

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