Is Scotland’s community infection still in single figures with localised ‘spikes’ due to importation

After three days of increased infection levels of around 20 new cases per day, the rate appeared to fall back to the prior level of around 7 but then yesterday climbed to 22.

While even these remain extremely low in comparison to that in England, between 900 (PHE) and 1 700 (ONS) per day, uneducated media commentators have delighted in seeing in them suggestions of spikes which might then be attributed to SG failures of some kind.

Professor Bauld and the Tusker have suggested increased testing may have played a part but another explanation seems worthy of investigation.

Of the 22 cases recorded yesterday, 14 were in the Lanarkshire call centre, owned and staffed by the global corporation Sitel, and working on test tracing for NHS England.

Taking those 14 out, we then have two days of case levels below 10 and perhaps evidence that community infection remains very low in Scotland and low enough for the recent lock-down changes.

The spread of the 14 cases within the Motherwell call centre may well be due to failures to adhere to social distancing and hygiene procedures of the kind that led to a police investigation of their Plymouth site:

However, the arrival of the virus in the centre may, in the first place, be due to the kind of movement between sites typical of middle and senior management in corporations. I’ve seen no evidence of this but it is a plausible explanation. We saw something similar in the Nike conference in Edinburgh and in the staff deployment used by HC-One to infect the Skye care home.

11 thoughts on “Is Scotland’s community infection still in single figures with localised ‘spikes’ due to importation”

  1. I applaud your regular insights, your take on and often couthy comments about events that should be covered by the msm.
    On this occasion I think that you jump too easily to a supposition of managers moving between sites.
    Given what we have heard from a whistle-blower is it not more likely to have been the result of lax adherence, under mis-management, to safe working practices?
    Sitel, in pursuit of profit failing to ensure staff safety.
    Sitel perhaps confusing England’s regs. as being the same as Scotland’s.
    If either is the case the call centre workers should sue the arse off them for a failure of their duty of care.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think this is the most likely reason Colin.

      I can only assume there is no regulation on companies opening up – I know it would be difficicult and laborious to inspect every business, and employees likely scared to lose their job so unlikely to complain – but it would help.. Unfortunately the workers are unlikely to have the ability to sue the company either. Again, is there any recourse for the government to apply sanctions to any business not complying with safety procedures?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. HSE

        “All workers are entitled to work in environments where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Under health and safety law, the primary responsibility for this is down to employers. Employers have a duty to consult with their employees, or their representatives, on health and safety matters.”


    2. I expect our scientists will be able to determine exactly where the infection came from. The ICMO was able to demonstrate that there was no infection spread from the Nike conference in Edinburgh.

      Bio secuirity was not well administered at the site which would allow the virus to spread . The source of the virus could have been local, or from south of the border, where there is a higher infection rate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite rightly SG takes these upturns seriously and investigates .
    It does not fob us off with Hancock’s increased testing hypothesis.
    In Scotland we’re going for suppression/elimination unlike England’s slow drift toward a second wave.

    Everyone (including the FM !) should be careful not to ascribe increased cases to increased testing.
    The number of new people tested per day has remained roughly constant. See travelling tabby.
    The retesting of care workers is unlikely to give positive results because they are by nature careful although it will add to the number of tests.


    1. Alex I thought the number of daily tests were being ramped up and down, giving a higher number of positive cases on the days when the number of tests were high. What was remaining constant (or actually declining) was ratio of positive cases per number of tests .


      1. Take a look at travelling tabby NEW PEOPLE tested.
        New people tested per day stays around 3000 over last 2 weeks.

        ratio of positive tests rising to 0.8


  3. Remember that when major corporations are involved, managers are under constant pressure from the top to keep costs down, and they do not want to hear about safety regulations which they consider as red tape and a hindrance to profits. It is in the culture of such corporations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. According to reports, which included comments from staff, the working areas were set out to maintain social distancing but the rest areas were not. Therefore difficult to maintain social distance when they went for coffee etc.

      Another consideration is the ventilation system and whether that played a role. In that respect Covid-19 has brought the ‘sick building syndrome’ back with a vengeance


  4. I made the same observation when this spike was first reported. Whether it is say a senior manager or relief staff filling gaps in staffing levels we may find that this kind of management stupidity replicates the care home infection trend. Any deaths which occur should be filed under corporate manslaughter, it would help focus minds particularly of the senior management.


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