Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Sturgeon savages No10’s ‘frustrating’ COBRA delay and warns she will act alone on COVID-19

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Scotland’s First Minister hit out a the frustrating delay to at COBRA meeting date being announced in order to make decisions on new coronavirus restrictions across Britain. Ms Sturgeon stated that she will be speaking directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson later today to gain greater clarifications on the next steps the UK will take to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Ideally some of these decisions will be taken on a four nations basis across the UK.

“We all of course have our own individual responsibilities and we will perhaps take decisions that are not entirely identical but given that virus does not respect borders, alignment if possible does make sense.

“It is the UK Government that holds the financial leavers necessary to mitigate the economic impact of any measures.

“That is why I asked on Friday for an urgent COBRA meeting and repeated that call over the weekend.

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“That call has been echoed in Wales and London.”

She continued: “I am therefore pleased in a four nations call with Michael Gove on Saturday he confirmed that a COBRA meeting will take place.

“Although it is frustrating that we still do not have a precise time for that and do not have confirmation if that will take place today or tomorrow.

“I am however directly talking to the Prime Minister after this press conference and hopefully we will have greater clarity from that discussion.”

Earlier today the UK’s Chief Medical Officer outlined several ways the COVID-19 virus will harm the population’s health as he issued a plea to Britons to follow the latest social distancing rules. 

Chris Whitty said: “There are four ways in which this virus is going to have a potentially significant effect on the population’s health if we let it go out of control.

“Firstly, the easiest to identify is direct COVID deaths, people that get the virus and die of the virus.

“The second would be if the NHS and emergency services were overwhelmed by a huge spike.

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“That is what the extraordinary efforts of the population stopped from happening in the first wave.”   

“The third however is very important and I think its importance should not be understated which is if the NHS is having to spend a large proportion of its efforts in trying to treat COVID cases, it will lead to a reduction in treatment for other areas such as early diagnoses for disease and for prevention programmes.

Mr Whitty continued: “So there is an indirect effect on deaths and on illness from this impact on the NHS if we allow the numbers to raise fast.”

“On the other side we know that some of the things we have had to do will cause significant problems in the economy, social impacts, impacts on mental health and therefore all of society has to walk this very difficult balance.”

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