Coronavirus Update: Despite recent spikes Scotland still managing pandemic better

Despite the Scottish media headlines warning of higher infection rates, strangely contrasting with relative silence on BBC UK, the situation is less bad here than it might appear.

I am, of course, not suggesting that we can relax. This relatively better situation was hard-earned and must be protected.

However, the rate of infection remains low across most of the country, most of the time, with headline increases due to spikes appearing in one or other area then fading away.

Looking at the last seven days, above, the daily increase was in single figures, sometimes zero, everywhere but in the Glasgow and Clyde region. In previous weeks it has been very low there but higher in Perthshire, Angus and Tayside and, before that, higher in Aberdeen City.

With the loosening of the lock-down, this was inevitable and is not a crisis. The contact tracing teams have shut all the spikes down, in short order.

While comparative figures do not remove the threat, they do provide a useful counter to the Scottish media’s panic-inducing headlines. Panic is not helpful and can weaken discipline.

Looking at the above tables, we can see that Scotland has had, over the whole outbreak, the lowest rate of infection per million population of the 4 nations and lower than Ireland or Italy.

Scotland has had the lowest death rate on the UK mainland and has carried out more testing than any of the others.

More recently, more important, Scotland is testing at a rate far higher than the other nations and probably at twice or more the rate in England. The publication of English testing data was suspiciously stopped 5 days ago as it flat-lined or perhaps fell.

Ignoring the above, Matt Hancock has laughably claimed that the horrific spikes in the North of England are in part due to more and more testing going on.

The percentage of tests which is positive in Scotland is also lower confirming lower community infection estimates. The recent surge, based on Glasgow and Clyde looks bad in the graph but remember that less than 1% is testing positive and this is likely to be just another temporary spike.

A pandemic is not ‘out of control‘ until positive test results start to approach 5%

Finally, if we are to worry about anything, it is this:

With less than twice the population (8m and 5.4m), North-west England has more than three times the infection rate.

The First Minister has previously advised against travel to or from that part of the UK.

The reaction from the Scottish Conservatives has not been constructive.

All but one of the above graphs and tables from:

3 thoughts on “Coronavirus Update: Despite recent spikes Scotland still managing pandemic better”

  1. Re testing rate and publication of testing data, or lack thereof, in England.

    Maybe this has something to do with it

    Throughout the pandemic testing, the lack of materials, faulty swabs, booking tests etc have been an ongoing issue particularly in relation to the Pillar 2 system ie Lighthouse labs and private firms such as Deloitte, an accountancy firm, given the contract to run the testing centres.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That graph showing percentage of positive tests rising since the 1st September is worrying to me.
    Added to to that is the lack of data on the English testing along with their increase in cases and an open border and i am doubly worried.
    I don’t watch TV news. Does anyone know if school kids in Scotland are still only wearing masks in corridors?


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