Coronavirus in Scotland: Jason Leitch says it could be another three weeks before lockdown impact known

It could be another three weeks in Scotland before the real impact of the Boxing Day restrictions is fully known, according to NHS Clinical Director Jason Leitch.
Jason Leitch said it could be another three weeks before we know if the lockdown is working.Jason Leitch said it could be another three weeks before we know if the lockdown is working.
Jason Leitch said it could be another three weeks before we know if the lockdown is working.

Speaking on the BBC football radio programme Off the Ball, Professor Leitch said he was “still very very worried” about the spread of coronavirus.

It comes as doctors south of the border have said they are worried that the pressure on the NHS could get worse in the coming weeks.

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It was also revealed today that 93 more patients who tested positive in Scotland have died, bringing the total to 4,965 in total.

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Coronavirus deaths in Scotland hit record numbers for second day running

Professor Leitch told listeners of the BBC show today that the spread of the virus in Scotland had been highlighted by areas like Dumfries and Galloway, which had previously had hardly any infections and had now become one of the worst affected areas

He said: "To be honest I don’t think we’ll know whether the Boxing Day lockdown and this week’s lockdown are working for another three weeks and that’s the nature of the virus.

"The doubling time – the time is takes to move from a thousand to 2000 to 4000 were about two weeks.

"We’re nearly at 3000 cases a day just now, and some places like Dumfries and Galloway have gone from almost none to being the highest rates in the country just about, so we’re very very worried.”

When asked about the impact of coronavirus on hospitals, Professor Leitch added: “We’ve got two and a half thousands cases a day, we had 90 people die yesterday. We’re at higher levels of hospital admissions than we’ve been in 12 months, and London is absolutely losing the fight because of the intensive care challenges.”

It comes as the UK Government has doubled down on its "stay at home" message by launching a new advert, fronted by England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, urging everyone in England to "act like you've got" coronavirus.

On Friday the UK recorded its highest number of Covid-19 deaths reported on a single day since the pandemic began.

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The Government said a further 1,325 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK total to 79,833.

There were a further 68,053 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, the highest figure reported in a single day since the start of mass testing last May.

Cases were estimated to have been as high as 100,000 per day at the peak of the first wave in April.

But scientists advising the Government estimate there are currently more than 100,000 new infections per day and possibly higher than 150,000 which they believe puts the current number of daily cases at a higher level than ever during the pandemic.

They believe the current lockdown may lead to a plateau of cases of coronavirus across the UK rather than the dramatic cut seen following the March and April lockdown.

Government death figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.