The Herald’s Health Correspondent writes today:
Test and Protect took more than 72 hours to trace the contacts for more than 8,600 cases between August and October, increasing the risk of the virus spreading. Scientists from the SAGE advisory group warned in May that “any delay beyond 48-72 hours total before isolation of contacts results in a significant impact on R” – the reproductive rate of the virus.
Those 8 600, or 700 per week, represent a tiny 3.5% of the 20 000 tested every day, and include, of course, the 3 512 who won’t answer their phones to the NHS.
In quite a comprehensive account with, down the page, evidence that Scotland’s system is performing very well, ‘far exceeding‘ the World Health Organisation’s standard of 80% of cases closed within 72 hours and, last week hitting 95.8%, there’s no sign of the headline claim.
Monica Lennon, Labour Health Spokeswoman, suggested home visits for those who won’t answer their phones to the contact tracing teams but no one other than the Herald’s Helen McArdle seems to be making the claim that these missed cases could have driven the second wave.
She should pass that notion before the eyes of profs Sridhar or Bauld, or the WHO.
With 80% of the cases in Scotland genetically linked to a Spanish form of the virus, I think we know where the second wave came from – hundreds or thousands of folk returning from there and not quarantining:
Research from scientists in Switzerland, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, has revealed that a new variant of coronavirus, known as 20A.EU1, appears to have cropped up in Spain during the summer and has since spread to multiple European countries, including the UK. “In Wales and Scotland the variant was at 80% in mid-September, whereas frequencies in Switzerland and England were around 50% at that time,” the authors said.