Home Health Scotland ‘could be Covid-free by end of summer’

Scotland ‘could be Covid-free by end of summer’

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Scotland could eliminate coronavirus by the end of the summer if the decline in new cases continues, according to a public health expert.

There were no confirmed deaths from the virus on Friday or Saturday.

Prof Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University, said the country would effectively be Covid-free if that progress could be maintained.

She said the challenge would then be how to stop new cases being imported.

On Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the priority had to be driving the virus “as far as we can towards total elimination”.

She said Scotland was “not far away” from that goal – but that the “challenge” was to keep it at that level.

New cases of coronavirus have been falling since their peak of 430 a day in April.

The number of people who had tested positive rose by just nine on Wednesday and five on Thursday.

Prof Sridhar said if cases continued at that level – and it was possible to trace those people and isolate their contacts – then “I think for me that’s pretty much a Covid-free Scotland”.

She said: “At that point the risk to people’s daily lives becomes negligible.

“I think Scotland is on track to eliminate coronavirus by the end of the summer by looking at the rate of the decrease [in new cases].

“But we are going to see little bumps, so it’s a question of how small can you keep those bumps.”

Ultimately the name of the game at this point is suppression, rather than the immediate elimination of coronavirus in Scotland.

Prof Sridhar, who sits on the Scottish government’s Covid-19 advisory group, praised the test and tracing systems that are in place in Scotland.

She also backed the decision to extend the “stay at home” message north of the border.-BBC

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