Scotland’s lower infection and death rate despite older and unhealthy population confuses expert

In the Herald yesterday:

SCOTLAND may have a higher coronavirus infection rate compared to the rest of the UK partly because of its older and more unhealthy population. Roger Halliday, the Scottish Government’s chief statistician, said demographics may be a factor in the slightly higher R number, or reproduction rate of the virus, north of the border. However he said Scotland also recorded its first case later than England. Nicola Sturgeon said this means Scotland could be “a bit behind in terms of the infection curve”.

So, as everyone seems to be starting answers these days:

First, we don’t know what the R number is. The UK Government doesn’t know what the R number is, for the UK, for England or for London.

Recent revelations in the FT tell us that there has been massive under-estimating of the infection rates, with the rate in London 20 to 30 times higher than in Scotland:

They’re not loosening the lock-down for scientific reasons but for ideological ones and to be honest, it’s the same in Scotland. The SNP is not, thank dog, a neo-liberal cabal prepared to take risks with the lives of low-paid insecure workers.

And, why the obsession with the infection rate when the death rate, for the general public and for the key-workers, in Scotland, is at worst only half that of England?

Oh, yes I remember why.

3 thoughts on “Scotland’s lower infection and death rate despite older and unhealthy population confuses expert

  1. But…but…but

    The Telegraph tells us that London is as fit as a flea…..of course,it’s only a model..

    “Fewer than 24 people are catching coronavirus each day in London, new modelling suggests, with forecasts predicting the virus could be wiped out in the capital within a fortnight.

    Analysis by Public Health England and Cambridge University calculates that the “R” reproduction rate has fallen to 0.4 in London, with the number of new cases halving every 3.5 days.”

    I would not be betting my life on this model.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thing is–if any of the daily 24 in London are loose on a crowded tube, bus, train or public space, then by the time the virus shows its face (say 10 days), literally hundreds of strangers will have been infected. No real testing or tracing, so no real control over viral infection–other than a new shutdown.

      Compare this with the recent South Korean nightclub infection, where Korean authorities instituted immediate action–testing, tracing, closing down, clubs and other facilities. But life in Korea can still now function.
      Ditto China, Singapore and other countries with a pandemic plan of action.

      Liked by 2 people

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