Policy change away from virus elimination

Virus elimination was the Scottish Government policy until June of this year, when it was changed to “suppress the virus to a level consistent with alleviating its harms while we recover and rebuild for a better future.” What was the reasoning behind this change?

Why the contribution is important

The disbanding of the Covid-19 (oversight) committee, the establishment of a Covid-19 recovery committee, and the appointment of John Swinney as the Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, in May 2021, all indicate an underlying assumption that the pandemic was nearly over. The Delta variant was identified by the World Health organisation as a variant of concern on 11th May, and the implications of its more infectious nature was clearly understood by July, but the Scottish Government did not re-establish the oversight committee structures needed to manage this.  In fact, their policy in the face of a more infectious virus variant was to relax mitigation controls. This process of relaxation was to continue, in the face of some well publicised warnings from eminent scientists published several days previously, culminating in “beyond level 0” on 9th August. The sunsequent waves of infections, hospitilisations, cancelled operations and deaths suggest that this policy change needs a thorough examination.

by grahamcheckley on September 24, 2021 at 03:22PM

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