Covid: Why are hospitalisation figures being kept from the public? – John McLellan

The disappointing decision to keep Edinburgh in Level Two and not allow the further relaxation of restrictions on businesses is, as we all know, being driven by a rising number of cases.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 4:55 am

But as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accepts the success of the vaccine programme and has wisely abandoned the elimination strategy, the question is when case numbers will be dropped as the criteria and replaced by the impact on the NHS?

Hospitalisation figures across Scotland have risen in the past week, but by Tuesday there were still just over 100 people in hospital with Covid and 10 in intensive care, and the data shows a clear majority of new admissions are in the unvaccinated population.

Vaccine success is variable, and acknowledgement of NHS Lothian’s poor performance ─ Edinburgh has the lowest vaccination rate in Scotland at just 36 per cent of the adult population having had the second dose ─ came with the Army being called in to help as case numbers rose.

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But although cases and vaccination rates by health board and council areas are readily accessible, the hospitalisation breakdown has strangely become impossible for the public to find, even though it is now surely the key information people need to really understand what’s going on in their neighbourhoods.

The information exists because the national statistics wouldn’t be possible without it, so why the secrecy?

When businesses and livelihoods remain on a knife edge, there needs to be full transparency and accountability for these decisions and there is no justification for burying this information.

The number of Covid patients in hospital is a key piece of information that the public should know (Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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