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Coronavirus — No Orkney cases as government advises against large gatherings

As of Thursday, March 12, Orkney remained one of only four Scottish health board areas which were free of the coronavirus.

There are now 60 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus confirmed in Scotland, according to an announcement from the Scottish Government this afternoon, Thursday. The figure yesterday stood at 36.

As it stands, there are still no confirmed cases of the virus in Orkney, but the number of instances of the illness has risen in two of its neighbouring health board regions.

There are now six confirmed cases in the NHS Shetland area and seven within NHS Grampian.

This news comes shortly after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recommended that all gatherings of over 500 people should be postponed.

Ms Sturgeon admitted that cancelling large gatherings would not in itself have a significant impact in preventing the spread of the disease. However, it would reduce pressure on frontline workers, and free up emergency services.

The UK Government is currently holding talks on the nationwide situation, and it is anticipated that a decision may be taken to move into the “delay” phase of the UK Action Plan against the virus.

This could mean taking “social distancing” measures such as closing schools and advising employees to work from home where possible.