Church of Scotland General Assembly 2022: Jason Leitch addresses Kirk gathering

Jason Leitch, Scotland's national clinical director, urged people not to forget that Covid still exists when he addressed the Church of Scotland's General Assembly.

He thanked churches for their work during the pandemic and also highlighted the need to increase vaccination rates around the world.

Professor Leitch and his wife were attending the Assembly as guests of the Lord High Commissioner, the Queen's representative to the Assembly. He was invited by the Moderator to speak.

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Prof Leitch said: "It has been an unbelievable two years. There are 18 million dead around the world, 16,000 died in this country. It is unthinkable what we have been through, but that would have been so much worse if there wasn't the kindness, the prayers, the friendship of churches and people like you in this country and around the world.”

He urged people still to remember Covid had not disappeared, adding: “It may not feel real for you. It does feel real for some people in this room, who are recovering from it, who are still tired, who have relatives who have been lost. It is still very real to those who are vulnerable. You might have people in your family or your church who have had transplants, are having chemotherapy or have undiagnosed HIV. Covid is a deep risk to them, so do not act as if it has gone away.”

And he called on people to “think globally”. In Scotland 250 vaccinations had been given per 100 people. In Haiti, it was just 1.8 per 100. “You cannot fix a global pandemic unless you think globally,” he said.

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