Carlaw can’t grasp coronavirus statistics as FT/Imperial estimate London’s infection rate 27 times greater than in Scotland

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!

3 thoughts on “Carlaw can’t grasp coronavirus statistics as FT/Imperial estimate London’s infection rate 27 times greater than in Scotland”

  1. Mr Carlaw repeated his ‘R’ number innuendo this morning, making the same speculations for the reasons, emphasising deaths in care homes as of this were a uniquely Scottish phenomenon. He was ‘demanding’ that the FM tell us the number, implying secrecy. Because the trace, test, isolate strategy was stopped in March, the kind of specific data that this provides was lost and so estimates of R had to be inferred by other means. I am sure these estimates will be by sophisticated statistical techniques, but, being statistical, will give answers within a range., such as 0.5 to 0.9, or 0.7 to 1.3, perhaps. (these are just examples ootie ma heid). If the upper limit is fairly close to 1, then, it is prudent to wait until the upper figure is lower. With test, trace being increased, more accurate data should become available and so, maintaining the lockdown is prudent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having finally been forced to concede that there have been deaths in England outside of hospitals, the UK government now use figures for those who have tested positive only but without the caveat “under this measurement” which Nicola Sturgeon always includes in her briefings. The media, of course, always dutifully repeats the number, helping to sustain the myth that the number of deaths is only about half of reality.

    Naturally, in Scotland the media will repeat the statistics provided at the Scottish Government briefings, but add “the real figure is much higher”.


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