In the Times today, co-written by John Boothman, former head of news at BBC Scotland before being moved on after bullying the daughter of Margo MacDonald:
Nicola Sturgeon kept Scotland in the dark over its first mass Covid outbreak against the advice of her health minister and the deputy chief medical officer — and a leading scientist says it potentially exposed more people to the virus.https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/nicola-sturgeon-overruled-covid-aides-cover-up-outbreak-nike-conference-edinburgh-sd7zszg3p?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1633848594
The remit of the health minster and the deputy chief medical officer is to put public health as a priority and to always put safety first even when the risk is low.
Others will have advised the FM on other aspects of a complex fast-moving situation such as patient confidentiality and the risk of panic reactions. She had to make the decision in the wider interest.
As it turned out she was correct:
No deaths were linked to the outbreak.
Experts concluded whole genome sequencing results “strongly suggest that the actions taken by the incident management team to manage the outbreak were successful in curtailing onward transmission.”
The [PHS] report also said the sequence identified at the conference was not subsequently identified in Scotland.
“This represents one of several hundreds of introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into Scotland from February 2020 and there is no evidence of community transmission of this sub-lineage, which was not detected in Scotland after April 2020,” it added.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58810370
As for ‘mass outbreak’, there were 23 from 5 different countries.
And, we knew in June 2020, there was nothing in this story. From the Chief Medical Officer, not the Depute, then:
Beyond the eight cases already known to be associated with this outbreak, there are three other cases with a genotype that might be linked to this lineage. Of these three cases, two of them are closely associated with samples that came from other cases identified in other countries and have been discounted as having been directly linked to the conference. The third show similarities to those associated with the conference but not direct link to the conference has been established.
After this explanation, the CMO concluded
This suggests that the actions taken by the IMT to manage this outbreak were successful in curtailing spread and have led to the eradication of this particular viral lineage with no evidence of any wider outbreak associated with it in Scotland since that time.
Finally, last week, in the PHS report:
These WGS results strongly suggest that the actions taken by the incident management team (IMT) to manage the outbreak were successful in curtailing onward transmission.https://publichealthscotland.scot/news/2021/october/covid-19-conference-outbreak-march-2020-incident-management-team-report/