Two people in the Western Isles have been airlifted to a mainland hospital after contracting Covid-19.

One of the patients is said to have been battling the virus for weeks in the Western Isles, having tested positive just after Christmas, while the other, a resident on Barra, was confirmed infected on Monday.

A second Barra resident tested positive yesterday, and is currently being treated in a hospital in the island group.

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NHS Western Isles chief executive Gordon Jamieson confirmed the news on Monday evening, and said it gives him "significant cause for concern".

"It is too early to say whether this is the start of a change in our circumstances, however, I have to say it gives me significant cause for concern at the moment," he said. 

"I don't know really how to ask you to do this, because I've asked you to do this so many times before, but I am appealing to you to follow the rules.

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"We must take every precaution we possibly can to prevent the virus getting established here and causing harm and tragedy within our community."

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Western Isles have reported 112 positive cases.

Mr Jamieson added: "Please, follow the rules, please limit your contact with other households and please think very carefully about any travel to or from the mainland."