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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

The disaggregation of the data would initially be done by us as part of the UK effort. At the moment, the primary focus for the scientists and those who are modelling on the basis of the science is to help us to understand the virus, its nature and its spread as much as we can. We will certainly feed in that ask.

Rugby fans who were at the game in Italy are receiving the same advice as has been given to others. If they feel as though they are experiencing the symptoms that I have described, they should get in touch either with their GP practice or with NHS 24 by telephone.

Elaine Smith asked why we are not advising against large gatherings now as opposed to keeping that proposal under consideration for later. All the evidence tells us that to do that when only one case of the virus has been confirmed in Scotland, and before we reach a point at which we understand that containment is not working and that the disease has taken hold in the community, would make the restriction on large gatherings less effective than if we advised against them in the delay stage.

A lot of what I have set out is not exclusively what I, as the health secretary, think is the right thing to do; it is led by the science and clinical advice. That is why it is a four nation UK plan. The work that I have set out and that the Scottish Government is undertaking, as well as the approach in terms of those four elements, is shared right across the UK and is based on scientific and clinical advice.