An NHS Grampian boss has thanked staff for “giving their all” in the fight against Covid-19.
It comes after figures released yesterday by the Scottish Government revealed five north-east residents were among the 61 Covid-19 related deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.
The figures show two Aberdeenshire residents and two Moray residents have sadly died since contracting the virus.
A further death has been recorded in Aberdeen City.
In total, Covid-19 cases across the north-east have increased by 55 in the past 24 hours.
The north-east’s total now stands at 12,701 following the daily update.
Deputy chief officer for the acute sector, Cameron Matthew, thanked staff across the region for “pushing forward” and “giving their all” in difficult circumstances.
He said: “It’s incredible that it is a year since we started warning the public in Grampian about what would later become known as Covid-19 and how to keep themselves as safe as possible.
“We had plans in place and we were already meeting to ensure we had all necessary processes were in place, in case the virus spread to the north-east and we had to deal with it infecting people widely – but at that stage, no-one knew what would actually happen and I don’t think anyone would have predicted what we have faced.
“Firstly, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one to this horrible virus. It truly has been an incredibly awful period for so many people.
“To our staff across the region, all we can say is ‘thank you’ – and it doesn’t seem like enough. Thank you for all of your efforts in during the year, they have been nothing short of heroic.”
Cameron told how while things still seem tough, there is now “a light at the end of the tunnel”.
He added: “A year ago, none of us could have truly foreseen what was going to happen to both our personal lives and our professional lives, in the 12 months that lay ahead.
“The way each and every member of staff has adapted, pushed forward and given their all to ensure the best for our patients, and each other has been nothing short of incredible. The efforts have been herculean from staff in all roles, in all departments.
“Without our staff, a lot more people would have come to harm and more families would be grieving and we’ll never truly be able to them all how incredibly grateful we are.
“Things are still tough, there is no getting away from that. People are tired, people are stressed, and the next few months will undoubtedly continue to be more challenging than normal – but there is now a light at the end of the tunnel, with our colleagues on the vaccine rollout working incredibly hard. With our staff, we will get continue to get through this.”