Tayside’s fight against Covid-19 smashed a major milestone with the news there are currently NO patients with the virus in hospital.
The dramatic announcement came today from NHS Tayside’s Chief Executive.
Grant Archibald praised staff and the Tayside community for their “collective efforts” which have slashed numbers of Covid-19 patients from 189 in mid-January to zero.
New cases of Covid-19 have been dropping steadily across the country in recent days and weeks.
Speaking at an NHS Tayside board meeting he said working together has been key in tackling the challenge nobody had ever faced before in their lifetime.
He said: “This result is the product of hardworking NHS staff and the 416,000 people living in Tayside too.
“They made the decision to follow the guidance, protect their own health and recognise the responsibility they had to their friends, neighbours and community.
“I want to give thanks to the people of Tayside – this is to their great credit.”
And although the command structure of NHS Tayside has now been stood down and restrictions ease across the country, Mr Archibald gave a reassurance the NHS remains ready to act if the situation were to change.
He added: “We are ready to adapt again to meet the needs of the population we serve.”
‘Hard work and professionalism’
Chairperson Lorna Birse-Stewart added her thanks to NHS staff many of who had to move to new roles during the pandemic.
“On behalf of the board I want to thank all of the staff involved for their hard work and professionalism.”
‘Cautiously ease our way out’
In her report, NHS Tayside’s director of public health Emma Fletcher added: “We are now able to start slowly and cautiously ease our way out of this pandemic.
“This must be done carefully and whilst over 60% of the adult population have received at least one dose of the vaccine and nearly 30% have completed the two dose course, there remains a sizeable proportion of the population who have yet to receive a vaccine or achieve the maximum benefit from two doses.
“Therefore, we do have to proceed with caution and continue to monitor very closely the impact of any changes in restrictions carefully.”
Although the “significant progress” brought optimism she added there was still work to be done.
‘Not over yet’
She said: “The pandemic is not yet over, with a significant way to go for ourselves to resume ‘life as normal’ and the virus is still having a catastrophic impact in very many countries across the world.
“We need to continue to build on all of the hard work achieved to date and our thanks goes to everyone for continuing to stick to the guidance as it is updated and taking up the vaccination when it is offered.”