Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions concerning the Scottish Government's handling of Coronavirus (COVID-19): FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
19 Mar 2020
Questions concerning the Scottish Government's handling of Coronavirus (COVID-19): FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000019973
Date received: 6 Mar 2020
Date responded: 18 Mar 2020
Information requested

You asked for:

‘1) The numbers you have that require being transported out of hospital immediately to care homes or to temporary or permanent accommodation by their local authority to reduce the risk of death to none? In or out of Scotland?

In the instance that people could die due to bed blocks by those who are not ill resulting in a reduction of available beds for those that require being admitted with unconfirmed COVID-19, later confirmed in hospital and to ensure your abilities to provide sufficient Intensive Treatment Unit or high dependency unit beds.

2) Have you requested the assistance of any other State, or the private sector to help in the current position you find yourself in today?

3) What is current extrapolated epidemiology position with respect to future infections from COVID-19?

4) Are you in daily contact with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in North America and

5) have you yet decided based on assaying which small molecules (approx. <200 Dalton's) or biologicals agents you are going to use to treat the virus one genotyping it as SARS or MERS or any other COVID-19 related coronaviruses diseases?

6) What are the hosts for the current viruses that cause coronaviruses diseases in the community and what is the Department for Agricultural and Rural Affairs position with respect to other host species transfering the virus to Humans?

7) Is there to be any restrictions placed on contact with other possible hosts?

8) Are you going to litigate against those who believe this outbreak is a benefit to NHS Scotland. And in the meantime interdict them against making any further unfounded claims as their comments will inevitably lead to an induction of a state of severe fear, alarm and distress and may be maliciously being stated such that their statements are crimes based on their positions in society?’

Response

The responses to your questions are as follows in the order you included them in your request:

1) While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested on the numbers you have that require being transported out of hospital to reduce the risk of death to none. This is not data that is available; while moving patients who do not need to be in hospital to community care settings is of course important, it is important to recognise that such actions cannot completely remove the risks from the virus. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

2) The Scottish Government has not itself requested assistance from any other state, although we work closely with the other UK nations, along with the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation, to share information on covid-19 and do monitor closely the situation in other countries. The Scottish Government works closely with a range of private sector bodies and is discussing with them responses to the covid-19 outbreak.

3) The information you have requested is available from the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Action Plan (pages 5 and 6) at: https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/strategy-plan/2020/03/coronavirus-action-plan/documents/coronavirus-four-nations-action-plan/coronavirus-four-nations-action-plan/govscot%3Adocument/Coronavirus%2B-%2BFour%2Bnations%2BAction%2BPlan.pdf

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. 

4) No. The Scottish Government is not in daily contact with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5) This is not a matter for the Scottish Government. It is a matter for NHS clinical specialists to take such decisions. Therefore, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

6) and 7) While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Scientists are studying this matter. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

8) The Scottish Government has no plans to litigate in this matter. While the views you refer to are of course not shared by the Scottish Government, individuals have a right to freedom of expression.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG