Covid: To avoid Wales-style lockdown, Scotland must stick to the rules – Scotsman comment

The two-week Covid lockdown in Wales – in which all non-essential shops are to close with people asked to stay at home – is a warning about Scotland’s future if the virus begins to spread more rapidly.
Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland was not in the same situation as Wales in terms of the Covid outbreak (Picture: Scottish Government/Flickr)Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland was not in the same situation as Wales in terms of the Covid outbreak (Picture: Scottish Government/Flickr)
Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland was not in the same situation as Wales in terms of the Covid outbreak (Picture: Scottish Government/Flickr)

Asked whether a similar lockdown could be imposed on Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said her government would “keep all options under review”, but added that “it's important to say that we are not starting from the same position as Wales. We have had, over the period when our schools have been closed, significant restrictions in place that have not been in place in Wales."

So the message was that the restrictions her government had imposed were helping to prevent even more Draconian measures.

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While there have been calls from some scientists for the restrictions to be largely removed with those most at risk being “shielded”, it is clear that this still remains a minority view.

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'More restrictions possible' as Nicola Sturgeon warns household measures to stay...

As former chief medical officer Professor Harry Burns and Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at Edinburgh University and a Scottish Government adviser on Covid-19, have both recently pointed out in The Scotsman, the so-called “herd immunity” strategy relies on the idea, the hope, that catching the disease confers immunity.

There have been a number of reported cases of people who have caught the disease twice and there is also concern about the potential long-term effects of this new virus, including damage to the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.

So if the number of infections in Scotland rises, it is highly unlikely that the First Minister will ignore the mainstream scientific advice and simply let the virus run riot. Boris Johnson may have taken a slightly different approach, but the overall strategy is the same: if the number of infections rises, so do the restrictions.

The test-and-trace system still has problems and these must be sorted out by those in government as a matter of priority because it is a vital tool for suppressing the disease and allowing the economy to re-open. For the rest of us, the priority should be to stick to the rules – wear a face mask, wash our hands, maintain social distancing etc – so that Scotland has a chance to avoid the measures deemed necessary in Wales.

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