Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

I could not agree more that we older people are absolutely vital to our society—in all the ways that Ms Grahame mentioned. In all seriousness, I agree with what she said. It is not our intention to scare anybody. We have been clear about that since we announced the first case and in all the work that has been undertaken by the First Minister, the chief medical officer, the national clinical director and myself. Our job is to be completely honest with people about what we understand to be the position, what the science and the clinical advice lead us to expect as worst-case scenarios, what the caveats are around those and the approach that we are taking and, therefore, what we need the public to do and where they can go for the expert clinical advice that they might seek. That includes older people as well as others. Our intention is absolutely not to scare but to inform and reassure, and to provide people with the information that they need while we get on with planning what we need to do, in the health service and elsewhere, if the disease begins to take hold in Scotland. We are looking to delay it and to manage it against all the factors that I outlined.