Nicola Sturgeon responds to accusations on Nike Conference after woman involved raises concerns about contact tracing

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The first minister reiterated it was down to Health Protection Scotland officials to judge who should be contact traced.

Nicola Sturgeon said she had “nothing more to add” when asked about contact tracing following the Edinburgh Nike conference which led to at least 25 confirmed coronavirus cases globally.

The Scotsman revealed yesterday that kilt-maker Gillian Russell, who was hired to fit delegates attending the event, and therefore had face-to-face contact with potential positive coroanvirus cases, was not contact-traced in the weeks following the Covid-hit conference.

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Ms Russell had no knowledge of the risk at the time of the event, which took place at the end of February, due to the government keeping information about the potential cases private in the “legitimate" interest of patient confidentiality.

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In her daily briefing, Ms Sturgeon, who has defended the government’s handling of the conference by confirming “rigorous” contact tracing has been carried out, said she had nothing more to say on the matter when confronted by journalists at her daily briefing.

When asked to explain whether she thought the lack of contact with Ms Russell following the event was a sign of government failure, she said: “I am not a contact tracer but I trust the people that do that for us.

“It is down to the judgement of the teams that work in Health Protection Scotland and the scientists who work with them.”

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Nicola Sturgeon said she had nothing more to add on the Nike conference at her daily briefingNicola Sturgeon said she had nothing more to add on the Nike conference at her daily briefing
Nicola Sturgeon said she had nothing more to add on the Nike conference at her daily briefing

Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray took to Twitter to criticise the first minister’s handling of the questions put to her about the conference in today’s briefing.

In a statement online he said: “Important questions about the Edinburgh Nike cover-up from Sky and BBC News.

“Not good enough for the first minister to dismiss concerns and pass the buck on contact tracing failures.

“The public needs confidence in the track and trace system.”

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Ms Russell had to take time off with flu-like symptoms shortly after spending more than an hour fitting kilts for ten conference attendees at an Edinburgh hotel in February, right at the beginning of the outbreak in Scotland.

She said had she known about the risk of coronavirus cases at the conference she would not have continued her life “as normal” in the subsequent weeks which included travelling to Portugal with her fiance and visiting friends and family.

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