Yesterday at First Minister’s Questions, Jackie Baillie – MSP for Dumbarton – called on the First Minister to act with more urgency in the wake of rising coronavirus numbers in Scotland and across the UK. She called on the Scottish Government to learn from the lessons of other countries affected by the virus and take action now to halt further spread.
Jackie Baillie spoke on behalf of constituents with underlying health conditions, such as those with Cystic Fibrosis, who were at an increased risk as a result of coronavirus and what measures were in place to protect these individuals.
Jackie also raised the concerns of local GPs who contacted her in confidence expressing their worry that not enough was being done to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Local GPs believe that isolation measures should be instituted across Scotland with immediate effect or there will be a huge spike in the number of cases and deaths within weeks. However, a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, announced that only self-isolation measures will be implemented at this stage. Gatherings of 500 or more people are to be cancelled from Monday onwards.
Jackie Baillie has decided to suspend her face to face constituency surgeries for March. She will instead be holding over the phone consultations with constituents on Friday 20th March from 3-7pm. Constituents are encouraged to book a slot by emailing Jackie.email@example.com or calling her constituency office on 01389 734 214. Constituents have been asked that, where possible, to phone or email with queries rather than coming into the office at 6 Church Street, Dumbarton, to avoid the spread of the virus.
Jackie Baillie said:
“We have seen a rapid increase in the number of Scottish coronavirus cases in recent days but I feel that the response from the Scottish Government does not reflect this.
“There are individuals in my constituency, and across Scotland, with additional health issues who are extremely worried about the spread of this virus. We know for a fact that the virus is more likely to have serious consequences for those with existing health issues.
“I have urged Nicola Sturgeon to show leadership and act now in order to protect the health and wellbeing of people across the country.
“I have taken the necessary measures with my own office in order to help control the spread of the virus. I have suspended face to face constituency surgeries but will be available to help constituents over the phone or by email.”