There’s a first time for everything. I didn’t expect this.

Of course, attributing a lower mortality rate here to the accident of our geography and to the earlier impact of a UK lock-down is a useful way of taking away any credit for the performance of our NHS in saving lives.

Didn’t spot that at first. Helen McArdle’s loyalty to the Union is preserved after all.

The Herald has accepted the words of Professor Jimmy Whitworth, an expert in international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who said:

“It is pretty clear when you look at the data for different countries that the earlier you introduce these measures [lock-down, social distancing] the more effective they are, so in that respect if they were introduced in Scotland – or Scotland was part of them – at an earlier stage then it will have had more effect. Overall, you don’t get such high peaks in your case numbers and your deaths.”

They do flirt with the actual data:

‘The latest figures show that there have been 60 deaths in Scotland, with a population of around 5.4 million, compared to 1,651 in England with a population of 56 million. In Scotland, 1,993 people have tested positive for the virus to date compared to more than 22,000 in England.’

bit fail to do anything much with it along the lines that we have:

The death rate per capita, not that meaningful, in England is 1 in 34 000 while in Scotland, it’s 1 in 90 000 or three times lower.

The death rate per case, a measure of hospital care, in England is 6.3% while in Scotland it is only 3%.

But, the infection rates, contrary to the Prof’s thinking are almost the same. Scotland has 2 000 while England with 11 times the population, has 11 times as many cases at 22 000.

Of course, the Scottish Government’s much-praised initiative in setting up 50 coronavirus assessment centres to alleviate pressure on GP surgeries gets no mention: