Covid-19 Update

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

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Photo of Monica Lennon Monica Lennon Labour

I am grateful to the cabinet secretary for advance sight of her statement and I thank her and the chief medical officer for their briefings with Opposition parties to date. Scottish Labour supports the international and UK-wide efforts to contain, delay and mitigate Covid-19, and we will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government to ensure that the public is well-informed and that we are as prepared as we can be for all scenarios.

I understand that the NHS 24 service has seen a spike in the number of calls. On the basis of modelling and scenario planning, what level of calls does the Scottish Government expect and what resources and contingency measures are in place for that? With regard to the NHS and social care staff, can the cabinet secretary say more about the advice that has been given to staff and about discussions with trade unions? In the event of school closures in parts of the country, or of an impact on social care, what might be in place to advise and support staff who are worried about childcare or other caring responsibilities?