As Professor Sridhar has made clear, the Scottish and English governments have diverged dramatically in their coronavirus strategies.
In England, to an extent covertly, the strategy seems to be allow the virus to circulate but at levels low enough for the NHS to cope and using local lock-downs, as in Leicester, to cope with spikes.
In Scotland, quite explicitly, the strategy is to limit to a minimum, the number of people exposed to the virus and to then use track and trace to shut down outbreaks.
Here’s how Professor Sridhar put it:
Holyrood and Westminster are pursuing fundamentally different coronavirus strategies which could see the UK’s pandemic response splinter, an advisor to the Scottish Government has warned. Devi Sridhar, chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University, told The Telegraph in an interview that while Scotland has adopted a strategy to “contain” the virus, it was unclear what the UK Government aims to achieve. “Scotland released a framework a few weeks ago and that clearly said two things: One was that no one will be intentionally exposed to this virus – that the goal is to reduce exposure. “And the second goal is to keep daily new cases as low as possible. That points to a containment strategy.” But the blueprint published by Boris Johnson’s Government last week – to a mixed reception – was “confused and conflicted”, Dr Sridhar added. “What struck me is that it’s unclear what the UK Government’s goal is. What is the strategy?” she said.
With the 7 day average infection rate now 8 and falling, and the death rate less than 1, 5 and 10 times lower, respectively, than in England, the immediate benefits are clear.
However, evidence is now emerging of a group, of as yet unknown size, who survive but whose lives are seriously damaged:
Weeks and months after having a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection, many people are finding they still haven’t fully recovered. Emerging reports describe lingering symptoms ranging from fatigue and brain-fog to breathlessness and tingling toes.
So, in addition to reducing deaths, the Scottish strategy, by its goal to reduce exposure as well as deaths, may save many more lives in the broader sense of the word ‘save.’
Perhaps BBC Scotland will cover this important news.