Nicola Sturgeon challenged on why Scotland's Covid-19 rate is higher than UK

Scotland's First Minister has been challenged on why Scotland's Covid-19 infection rate is higher than the rest of the UK.

Nicola Sturgeon was asked the question on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme.

She downplayed the figure, saying the reason is simply because Scotland is "a bit behind the curve" on the outbreak.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"If you think back to the start of this epidemic, Scotland's first confirmed case came later than the first confirmed case in England," she said. "So we are a bit behind the curve."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Sturgeon also cautioned over comparing international rankings on deaths, stressing that all countries don't measure in the same way.

She said: "No country is through this pandemic yet, so I don't think any country will at this stage be declaring success.

"We potentially have a long way to go and the focus of the Scottish Government is taking the steps that make sure we keep to the lowest number possible the people who lose their lives."

The First Minister said Scotland has been "ramping up" testing since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Initially, Ms Sturgeon said, the system focused on those who were ill, key workers and surveillance, adding that it has gone from having the capacity to carry out 350 tests a day to "several thousand".

"Increasingly, we are looking ahead to a test, trace, isolate strategy that will be part of the approach we take to easing and coming out of lockdown," she said.

On the subject of the UK Government's app - which is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight - Ms Sturgeon said plans were pushing ahead in Scotland to put in a place a more "traditional" system of contact tracing to measure the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But the First Minister was keen to stress that she is waiting to see if the UK Government app would run in tandem with the Scottish app.

She said: "Whether we like it or not, people are concerned about privacy and how their data is used.

Ms Sturgeon added the UK Government app will only be effective if around 60% of the population use it.

"We shouldn't build the whole system around that because we have to be sure that the public are prepared to use it in sufficient numbers, but if it works, then it will be a useful enhancement," she added.

Asked if testing should have been ramped up earlier, Ms Sturgeon said hindsight is always a good thing to have.

"As First Minister, there is not a day goes by that we don't think about what we are doing, look back at what we are doing and making sure we are learning as we go.

"Dealing with a pandemic, the main thing is taking the best decisions for the future in the best way possible as we go and at some point we will reach the stage when we look back and see that lessons are learned for the future."

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.