On Wednesday 28th January, there were more than 20 000 new cases of Covid-19 infection and 1 200 deaths across the UK.
The rates in Scotland on the same day were proportionally 30-40% lower at 1 200 cases and 82 deaths.
Despite that, the UK Prime Minister announced travel restrictions on only 30 ‘red list’ countries where infection levels were deemed high. Travellers from those 30 countries would have to quarantine for 10 days on return to the UK, in hotels.
India was not one of those on the list and remains, as yet, not on it.
Before the PM’s announcement, the Scottish First Minister warned:
I think I do have a duty at this point to say that I am concerned that the proposal does not go far enough and I’ve made that point very strongly in the four-nations discussions that we’ve just had today. So while the Scottish Government will initially emulate the UK Government’s steps on enhancing quarantine arrangements, we will be seeking urgently to persuade them to go much further, and indeed to move to a comprehensive system of supervised quarantine.
Yesterday, Public Health England announced 73 cases of the variant first identified in India have been found in England, and 4 in Scotland. Analysis by Thomas Moore, science correspondent at Sky News, notes it has “hallmarks of a very dangerous virus“.
From the BBC today:
Health officials are looking at whether a new Indian Covid strain spreads more easily and evades vaccines. There is not yet enough data to classify it as a “variant of concern”, a leading scientist has said. But Dr Susan Hopkins of Public Health England said some cases had been found in the UK that were not linked to travel, with their origin now being investigated.
BBC Scotland is not reporting the story.