A Scottish health board is canceling ‘all scheduled routine operations’ for two weeks amid a spike in coronavirus cases.
NHS Borders has announced that there is “significant pressure” on Borders General Hospital near Melrose due to a “growing number” of Covid-19 patients.
The board has said “it was not an easy decision” and warned people about the dangers of the virus.
All urgent surgeries will continue.
The news comes as the Scottish government announced seven more deaths in the past 24 hours amid 3,367 new cases overnight.
A statement issued by NHS Borders tonight reads: “We continue to face significant pressure at Borders General Hospital and throughout the healthcare system.
“There is still a very high demand for inpatient beds, including a growing number of patients admitted with Covid-19.
“As a result, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all scheduled routine operations for another two weeks (Aug 23-Sept 5). Affected patients are being contacted directly.
“Making this decision is not easy, but it is necessary to ensure that we can continue vital services during this challenging time.
“We are very sorry to those who are affected by this decision.
“However, we hope you understand that the safety of patients and staff is our top priority, including providing the highest quality care and support. We can assure you that the situation remains under constant review.
“All urgent, oncology and emergency surgeries will continue during this time.
“Our incredible staff continues to work tirelessly to treat the patients in their care across all of our services and we are immensely grateful to them. Please continue to treat them with the respect they deserve.
“It remains crucial, especially with the increase in Covid-19 admissions and continued easing of restrictions, that we all remain accountable and follow current rules to protect each other and our local health and social care services.
Remember that Covid-19 is still circulating, highly communicable, and continues to be a threat to all of us.
“What we are seeing is a serious reminder that Covid-19 can, and is, affecting people of any age, so please protect yourself and your loved ones by showing up to get vaccinated.
“This also includes showing up when it’s time for your second dose to ensure greater protection against Covid-19.”