Nicola Sturgeon accused of ‘covering up’ super spreader event in February 2020

GB News: Carole Ford criticises Sturgeon over ‘cover up’

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Nicola Sturgeon has been criticised after a Public Health Scotland report found a Nike conference held in February 2020 led to an outbreak of Covid infection. The report found a single case among the 71 attendees led to 38 further infections. Carole Ford has since hit out at the SNP leader telling GB News: “It wasn’t until last summer that we found out the infection outbreak had happened at all and it was surprising to me at that point that more wasn’t made of that.

“It does look like a straightforward cover-up.

“The reasons that we’re told the Scottish public were not informed about the outbreak is the issue of patient confidentiality and another reason is to do with another thing they describe as international sensitivity.

“In the whole global pandemic, patient confidentiality hasn’t appeared as a reason for not telling the public about outbreaks.

“It’s very difficult to understand why that applies to the Edinburgh conference.

“It’s particularly galling to the Scottish public because we have a First Minister who claims to be the most open and transparent First Minister we’ve ever had and now we find out what happened in February.

“But also how can we trust any other information that we’ve had about the pandemic? Have there been other outbreaks we didn’t know about it?

“It’s pretty shattering to the Scottish public’s confidence in how this pandemic has been handled.”

Ms Sturgeon has rejected all claims of a “cover-up.”

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In response, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “All appropriate steps were taken to ensure public health was protected following the Nike conference, with more than 60 contacts traced in Scotland, and around 50 others traced in England.

“All of the cases linked to this event were assessed by their close contact, or contact with conference delegates who tested positive after the event so public health authorities were satisfied that there was minimal infection risk.

“All Scottish cases linked to this event were contact traced and reported in details of the number of cases in Scotland at the time.

“While the Nike conference in Edinburgh was one of several routes by which COVID-19 came to Scotland, the University of Glasgow’s genome sequencing report confirms that the local public health response was effective in managing and containing spread of that particular strain of COVID-19 in Scotland.”

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It comes as the upcoming Covid-19 inquiry must look into discharges into care homes, the Lib Dems have said, as new data shows more than 750 homes took in untested patients from hospital.

Data released to the BBC from Public Health Scotland (PHS), 11 months after it was initially requested, shows 752 homes took in untested patients between March 1 and April 21 of 2020 who were being discharged from hospital.

Rutherglen Care Home in South Lanarkshire received the highest number of untested patients, with 28.

The Scottish Government has said previous analysis found the size of the home was more of an indicator of the likelihood of a Covid-19 outbreak than the testing of residents.

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