A GP has urged the Scottish Government to put in place immediate isolation measures — warning that delays would mean more deaths, MSPs have heard.
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said a doctor in her Dumbarton constituency believed the virus is much more widespread than official data suggests.
At First Minister’s Questions, Ms Baillie called on the government to speed up anti-coronavirus action as she expressed concern about cystic fibrosis patients.
Ms Baillie warned cystic fibrosis patients with reduced lung function would experience “severe difficulties” if they caught the virus and added were self-isolating already.
“I have become more concerned since a local GP contacted me this morning urging the Scottish Government to act now and institute isolation measures across the population,” Ms Baillie said.
“He strongly believes that the true extent of the virus is much more widespread than those who have been tested and, I quote, ‘Every extra 24 hours that we leave it now will mean more deaths in two weeks time’.”
Ms Baillie added: “Can I urge the first minister not to wait next week and ask her to accelerate action to protect the population?”
Every extra 24 hours that we leave it now will mean more deaths in two weeks time’
A GP quoted in Parliament
Ms Sturgeon said she was “acutely aware” of the urgency and importance of the issues raised by the Labour MSP.
“I am not a clinician and therefore for those of us in positions like mine. It is important we are listened to and guided by the advice and the expertise of those who are best placed to give it,” Ms Sturgeon said.
The first minister said the chief medical officers of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland were looking “very quickly” at advice for people with underlying health conditions.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The kind of behaviour changes we are going to ask people to make may not simply be for a couple of weeks. This is something that will be in place for a potentially significant number of weeks. It is important that advice is right and it is important people can rely on it. And it is important it is informed by those who know what the right thing to do is.”