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Lockdown 'could be lifted here earlier'

Prof Isles

A CONSULTANT has raised the issue of lockdown being eased faster in places with lower Covid-19 rates – such as Dumfries and Galloway. Prof Chris Isles, author of a paper on the issue, said the idea was supported by data. Based at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Professor Isles told BBC Radio Scotland restrictions could be lifted more quickly in areas where infection rates were low. The Free Press previously reported First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying the Scottish Government could consider a "regionally varied approach". On the Good Morning Scotland radio programme, Professor Isles, pictured, said Dumfries and Galloway had locked down and waited for a "tsunami of Covid positive admissions" which had not happened. Cases in the region peaked between April 9-13 April and "have been falling ever since," he said. "We have had no new Covid positive cases throughout the region for the last eight days, no Covid positive cases in the hospital for the last five days and no Covid positive deaths for the last fortnight." He said if the purpose of lockdown had been to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, it had been a "resounding success" in D&G. He added: "At the peak of the pandemic, Greater Glasgow and Clyde had three times the number of patients hospitalised with Covid per 100,000 than we did. "That gap has since widened so that the hospitalisation rate in Greater Glasgow and Clyde is now 30 times that of Dumfries and Galloway. "Borders, Highland, Forth Valley, Tayside, the islands also have low rates of hospitalisation. "If Greater Glasgow and Clyde had 30 times fewer people in hospital with Covid per head of population then families would be meeting indoors by now, grandparents would be seeing their grandchildren, businesses would be reopening and children would be back at school." The Scottish Government previously said it would consider regional variations if the evidence supported the idea and they could be implemented in a "practical and clearly understandable way". It said the incidence of the virus was subject to ongoing monitoring across the country and Miss Sturgeon made it clear she was not presently proposing regional variations to her roadmap to the ending of lockdown.

<< back Published: 02 Jun 2020, 13:20

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