In the Herald, yesterday:
Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said the First Minister had to explain why the falling rate of infection, or R number, had apparently “stalled” in Scotland. He asked whether it was related to the “appalling rate of infection and loss of life in Scotland’s care homes”, the site of most recent fatalities.
The R number is of course nothing to do with deaths though had it, Scotland’s far lower death rate than the UK average, by any measure, might have made his questioning of the First Minister more interesting.
As for the infection rate, regardless of the mysteries of the R number, the official infection rate in England is 2 445 per million population and in Scotland it is 2 505 per million. That difference is not significant:
Best of all, Carlaw asks:
Given that Scotland went into lock-down at an earlier phase in the development of the virus than London, should we not have anticipated that the lock-down measures would have proved relatively more effective?
UK Government advisers have suggested only 9 291 cases in London and these, no doubt, are the basis for Carlaw’s claims but, once more, the FT using figures from Imperial College, put it at 600 000 or 67 415 per million!