By Russell Bruce
The unionist parties and press are daily asserting that Scotland is doing worse in handling Covid than England. Their desperation to undermine Nicola Sturgeon knows no bounds or any sense of decency. The Scottish Government and the First Minister set the policies and actions required but the work on the ground is delivered by the degree of compliance from people in Scotland and the sterling work of Scotland’s NHS.
So what is the real position across the nations of the UK? In the wake of the Sophie Ridge programme last Sunday and the blind reporting in much of the media, Newsnet thought a full comparison of the data to date would be more informative.
Scotland has the lowest number of cases per million of population of the four nations and the second lowest number of deaths per million.
This pattern has been fairly consistent over the last six months with the exception of N. Ireland where cases were relatively low earlier. Now they top the table for cases per million although this is a big change in recent weeks. They have the lowest number of deaths per million of the four nations and we hope this does not change in the weeks to come as a result of the recent rise in infection levels.
There is no joy in reporting this data. This is a terrible illness with long-term implications for many of those who survive and we have the impact of winter months yet to come.
Watching Donald Trump, pumped full of steroids and heavens knows what, playing Superman as he pranced on a Florida stage seemed surreal. America has 22,911 cases per million – more than double the number in England and 3 times the number in Scotland. In deaths per million the US is slightly better than England at 641 per million but US deaths are 37% higher than Scotland per million.
There is some good news because with people paying attention to Covid guidelines and social distancing, the impact of the winter flu season may be less than usual. Hopefully that will be the case which would provide some relief to our hard pressed NHS in the next few months.