To be effective in suppressing the transmissible strain of Covid-19, Scotland’s lockdown may need to be further strengthened, Nicola Sturgeon has warned.
On Monday, the First Minister imposed a “stay at home” lockdown for mainland Scotland – while until at least Feb. 1. schools and nurseries, including in the islands, will remain closed.
But Ms. Sturgeon has suggested that if case numbers and hospital admissions continue to increase, even tougher measures may be required.
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Her comments came as Scotland’s number of individuals hospitalized with the virus rose to 1,467 – “pretty close” to the number reached at the height of the first wave.
Some activities that were halted in March, such as professional sports and some construction and manufacturing work, were allowed to continue.
The First Minister said, “We need to radically reduce the number of interactions in order for this lockdown to really be as effective as we need it to be, and that means minimizing the time people have to leave their homes.”
If we need to close more non-essential operations to accomplish that, we’re going to have to do that. That is a matter that is being reviewed by the Scottish government right now.
The First Minister added at her daily coronavirus briefing: “At this point, people need to prioritize limiting the spread of this virus, and if we feel as a government that we need to go further in terms of regulations and legal constraints, we will do that because we need to sufficiently reduce interactions to stop the spread of this virus.”
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“If there needs to be more tough decisions, then I will do that,” he said.
“Because we can see from the numbers of cases, the deaths and the pressures on our health service that we can’t allow this virus to run away from us, the consequences are just too great.”
With hospital numbers rising during the winter – traditionally the busiest time of year for the health service – Ms. Sturgeon said, “The NHS is coping, but it is under intense and increasing pressure.”
Accident and emergency personnel deal with cases of people falling and slipping on ice, as well as the effects of Covid-19, as a result of the winter weather of recent days.
Ms. Sturgeon said, “Every single person who contracts this virus is someone who in the future may need hospital treatment – the more we all stay at home and decrease the chances of spreading the virus, the more we all assist the NHS to cope.”
“Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. This is just as important now as it was last March, and I urge everyone to take it as seriously as we all did then.”