10,000 coronavirus deaths must trigger new plan
Tragically, almost 10,000 official COVID-19 deaths have been recorded across the UK and 542 people are known to have died in Scotland
The true death toll is likely to be even higher as the limited data being published is not telling the full story. Responding to pressure, the First Minister is now including suspected COVID deaths.
Despite lockdown the virus is still spreading.
The World Health Organisation continues to advise governments to test, test, test; a strategy that UK leaders have not subscribed to. When the pandemic ends, and the inevitable public inquiries begin, heads of government will need to account for their decisions. There is still time to intensify our efforts.
Just as we must do everything to protect each other, including staying at home, the Scottish Government must do everything to protect us, and it can and must do more.
Mixed messages are not helping. On 1st April, a Scottish newspaper splashed ‘Glimmer of Hope’ on its front page, after the Scottish Government’s National Clinical Director suggested that lockdown measures could soon be relaxed. A few days later, the Chief Medical Officer resigned in disgrace after trips to her holiday home became public and led to a police warning.
Whilst most people are acting responsibly, it’s clear that a foolish few continue to put the rest of us at risk. In the days ahead, the Scottish Government will be expected to confirm whether it plans to escalate lockdown measures. We’ve seen little of the scientific evidence that is stopping Nicola Sturgeon from sticking close to WHO advice. Notably, her scientific advisors have not appeared at the Scottish Government press conferences. The First Minister has rightly been praised for her engaging pandemic communications, but her answers have not been convincing when asked why the Scottish Government won’t commit to a robust ‘test, trace, isolate’ system.
The first UK coronavirus death was confirmed 37 days ago. On Easter Sunday it is very likely that the official coronavirus death toll in the UK will exceed 10,000.
This must be a turning point for our leaders.