Is Scotland starting to get to grips with Covid?

Infection expert tells Scotland Tonight she's now 'less concerned' about coronavirus.

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Scotland is starting to win the battle against Covid-19, according to a leading expert in infection and immunity.

Dr Christine Tait-Burkard, from the Roslin Institute at Edinburgh University, said she was now “less concerned” about the virus amid declining case numbers.

From daily figures of more than 7000 new cases at the start of September, data on Tuesday showed just over 2000 fresh infections.

Dr Tait-Burkard told STV current affairs show Scotland Tonight that the current case numbers and the success of vaccines spelled “good news for winter to come”.

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“I’m slightly less concerned about Covid now because we can see the effects that we were hoping for,” she said.

“We’ve got booster jobs on the way for the most vulnerable in the population. And we continue to see, for instance, in some parts of the country that 67% of people in intensive care are not vaccinated despite being only about 10% of the population, so vaccination continues to do its thing.”

Dr Tait-Burkard believes coronavirus will be treated much like flu within a year, with patients more aware of transmission without the need for strict self-isolation rules.

“That is very likely to happen,” she said. “We know that during the normal flu season we see a strain on the healthcare system. Coronavirus will continue to pressure the healthcare system, but it is likely that we’re going to end up in a situation like that.

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“What is more likely to happen, hopefully, is that people when they have either the flu or coronavirus will stay at home, not go to work, aware of transmitting a disease to their colleagues or to other people.”