Willie Rennie: Postcode level Covid detail needed

Scottish Lib-Dem leader believes it would help those shielding make informed decisions about outings.

The Scottish Government should begin publishing postcode level details on Covid cases, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader has said.

Willie Rennie believes details on case numbers would help people who are shielding make informed decisions about their outings.

He called for “microscopic detail”, while still maintaining patient confidentiality.

Current health board breakdowns of coronavirus statistics are not specific enough, he claimed.

Rennie said: “It’s clear that this virus is going to overshadow daily life in Scotland for many more months.

“Local flare-ups and workplace-specific spikes have been a regular feature of the last few weeks.

“It’s therefore necessary for the Scottish Government to begin publishing details about where the virus is on a much more microscopic level.”

He continued: “The current statistics are far too vague. If you’re in the Highland health board area, new reported cases could be anywhere from Campbeltown to Wick. We need to see much more detail.

“We all need to be doing the right things to suppress the spread of the virus, but more local information would help people make better judgments.

“They should be able to make informed decisions around their outings and activities based on up-to-date accurate information for specific areas.

“That’s especially important for those who were shielding and still remain vulnerable.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are committed to the open and transparent publishing of data whilst protecting individual confidentiality and will keep the balance of transparency and confidentiality under review as the pandemic progresses, to ensure we are providing the most useful level of information.

“The Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland publish a wide range of data on Covid-19 each day, at a national level and by health board area.

“In addition, every day, Public Health Scotland publish a range of data for each local authority area in Scotland in its dashboard.

“Meanwhile health boards and incident management teams also publish considerable local detail about outbreaks.

“Data on Covid cases at a neighbourhood level is also available each day to those public bodies who are directly responding to the epidemic in Scotland.”

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