Due to Data Protection laws, Health Protection/ScotGov cannot announce who what where has Covid-19, so are they alerting the public indirectly?

Brenda Steele:

I was reading around on-line blog as is my wont and I came across an article on Mungins New Republic about our new under-overlord from Milton Keynes – Ian Stewart.  The article spoke of the resignation of Douglas Ross from this position.  This brought to mind a conversation with a friend and so I promptly commented as follows:

There is this:
Moray was pretty clear for a long time then there was an outbreak. That is Mr Ross’s constituency is it not? How do the dates fit? The locals will probably know. So it might explain his resignation from the office. He and his party will be in the doghouse in the area. Is he trying to disassociate himself from NotSoBoJO&Co in the hope of keeping his seat at the next election, perhaps? It might also explain the reluctance of the remaining Scottish Tories to take on the task. If you will notice there are two English MPs with positions at the Scottish office – both well south of the border.

A friend who is better than me at reading these stats but wishes to remain anonymous says that, in general, the dates fit as a possibility.

Note that the construction firms involved are not identified. The closest identifying information is that they were put up at Lossiemouth hotels.

Press and Journal is the local newspaper and that clicked something in my grasshopper mind.  In https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/05/31/who-brought-covid-19-to-the-edinburgh-nike-event-nike-hqs-announce-deep-cleaning-before-scottish-government-informed/ 

In that piece pointed out that the first reported case was in Tayside – it was announced that it was someone returned from Italy.  Certainly not enough details to identify an individual easily, if at all.

I have strong suspicions that this is what has caused Tayside/Dundee to feature daily in https://www.travellingtabby.com/scotland-coronavirus-tracker/  in his at-a-glance section under regions. From the very beginning Tayside has been mentioned as having highest infections with the comment that they might be doing more testing than other areas.    It  makes sense to me that they are and have been going heavy on the testing all along to try and keep a hold on the spread from that first case. 

Then there is all the hoo-ha about Nike,  In local newspapers – we have :

On March 3rd the Evening Standard reported that “About 150 employees of the US sportswear giant were told to stay at home after a colleague returned from an overseas trip to one of the worst-hit areas, the Standard understands.” On March 4th chroniclelive.co.uk reported that Nike had closed down its office in Sunderland due to a coronavirus alert, and People in hazmat suits were seen entering the sportswear company’s offices in Camberwell Way on Wednesday. On March 4th the Swindon advertiser reported that “the Nike store at Swindon Designer Outlet closed for deep clean (but it denies it’s because of coronavirus)” On March 5th GlasgowLive.co.uk reported on “Mystery closure of Glasgow’s Nike store as Buchanan Street shop

This was not  not picked up by the big boys, in Scotland or England. Was the connection to one of the S&P 500 (a big advertiser) too hot to handle?  Or was the fact that it was scattered geographically and date wise mean that our cash and resource strapped MSM missed connecting the dots? Who knows.

It also got me to thinking of other snippets I have seen and to that might relate to spikes or hot spots. The most obvious is the outbreak in Highland from the Skye care home but as far as I know they are not hospital  infections and deaths so they would be in the weekly figures, not the daily.  I have not heard of any cases in or around Portree but although I live in the same Health Trust it is a 4 hour drive away, so not exactly local.  I won’t even hear rumours – if there are any.

The only other area that I have seen referred to as having spread of infection is Inverclyde, and that includes Greenock.  You may not have seen it but there was this:  https://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/news/18427443.secret-coronavirus-greenock-port-plan-revealed/      I do remember reading a casual  mention in another piece on the same subject that cruise ship crews had come in earlier. It didn’t say what had happened to the crews. Unfortunately I didn’t keep the link. If anybody finds it, let me know via John.

In my own locality there was one case which thankfully does not seem to have spread. There was a Lord that moved up to his second home about the same time to a nearby village and there was an article where a local medic complained about people moving into the rural highlands and he specifically mentioned the my area.  I didn’t save the link at the time. I assumed at the time it was the Lord but ….

I have strong suspicions that the authorities – and I’m not sure which level, national, health trust or doctors with contacts – do try to get out the fact that there have been  Covid-19 infections in an area without breaking the data protection rules. It must be tricky to get it right and not give away identifying details, and do it without causing a panic. Notice that it is pretty much all in local newspapers, not the MSM. And a thought strikes me. It works if you have a distributed system, but how do you do anything like that with a highly centralised private firm run system like the one that is being designed for England?

This is all speculation on my part.   Something to consider though, and in my opinion, it pays to keep an eye on the local press.

2 thoughts on “Due to Data Protection laws, Health Protection/ScotGov cannot announce who what where has Covid-19, so are they alerting the public indirectly?

  1. In Vietnam, a country of 97 million people and a land border with China, closed border except for essential trade, social distancing, mask wearing, temperature testing (infra-red, non-contact intrusive), schools closed. End result 300 total infections and zero deaths. Every positive test was declared in newspapers, radio and television so that family friends and neighbours could identify themselves to the testing medical authorities if they had had contact With them in the previous 14 days. End result 300 cases from 97 million people and no-one needed to die. Cf Scotland Calling…Vietnam by Phantom Power.


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