Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions concerning the Scottish Governments response to COVID-19: FOI release

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

Published:
11 Jan 2021
Questions concerning the Scottish Governments response to COVID-19: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000076599
Date received: 13 Aug 2020
Date responded: 23 Dec 2020
Information requested

1) Please provide all scientific information and evidence to justify the isolation and locking up of healthy people?
2) Please provide all scientific information and evidence for the imposed 2 meter distance rule?
3) We are leveling the curve, Technically on the second peak. Please provide all scientific information and evidence for continuing the lock down and restrictions?
4) Please provide all scientific information and evidence that the PCR tests actually identifies COVID-19 virus and what is the accuracy (sensitivity) rating?
5) Please provide all scientific information and evidence that the COVID 19 virus has been identifies and proven to cause the reported symptoms and the death reported, as measured against the Kosh Postulate principle?
6) Please provide all scientific information and evidence that ‘respiratory virus interference’ has been ruled out, and is not causing what is being reported as serious cases/deaths of COVID 19?
7) Please provide all scientific information and evidence that all COVID 19 vaccine hopefuls have successfully completed animal trials, including testing said immune response against covid 19? Please also provide the evidence that these were completed before moving onto human trials?
If Animal trials were conducted, and exposed to the virus, what percentage of the animals suffered from a cytocyn storm?
8) Please provide confirmation that the COVID 19 vaccine selected will be tested for safety against an inert placebo, prior to being rolled out to the public.
9) Please provide confirmation that the company providing us with a COVID 19 vaccine when ready will NOT be given a liability waver for any harm it may cause?
10) Please provide all scientific information and evidence you are relying on that those with no symptoms are spreading COVID 19?
11) Please provide all scientific information and evidence, that once exposed to COVID 19, your immune system doesn’t make an immune response and antibodies, hence those exposed wouldn’t get immunity?
12) Please provide all scientific information and evidence, of the time frame that COVID 19 can live on different surfaces?
13) Please provide confirmation that those with COVID 19 are being given Hydroxychloroquine and zinc? and if not why?
14) Please explain why you haven’t given out any information about supporting the immune system to help the public who are in a state of fear?
15) Please provide all scientific information and evidence you have relayed on to recommend the wearing of face masks? Along with all the potential risks caused by those who have to wear a mask? With full risk assessment.

Response

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested.

1, 3. The Scottish Government has made clear in ‘Scotland’s Strategic Framework’ that it takes a 4 harms approach to decision making in relation to the pandemic. The Scottish Government considers a wide range of evidence before reaching its conclusions and will continue to make decisions informed by the available scientific and medical evidence. The Scottish Government Covid-19 Advisory Group interprets and applies advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and other appropriate sources of evidence and information such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and uses it to advise the Chief Medical Officer and Ministers in order to inform decisions in Scotland. Information in relation to these questions is available from the following websites;

Scientific evidence supporting the government response to coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Global research on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (who.int)

Technical guidance (who.int)

The following page contains a range of links to other evidence sources, including modelling https://www.gov.scot/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-modelling-the-epidemic/

You may also find the following Scottish Government websites helpful in relation to coronavirus Coronavirus (COVID-19): daily data for Scotland - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

2. In addition, in relation to question 2, the Covid-19 Advisory Group has published specific advice on Physical Distancing which refers to advice from WHO and SAGE and is available at COVID-19 Advisory Group: physical distancing advice - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

4. In relation to question four the tests being used to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Scotland are realtime RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) assays which are the gold standard for respiratory viruses, as well as a range of other viral pathogens. The assays in use for SARS-CoV-2 have been designed to target a section of the SARS-COV-2 genetic material which is specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Further information can be found in the COVID-19 Laboratory testing frequently asked questions document which can be accessed here: COVID-19 Laboratory testing Frequently Asked Questions (windows.net)

15. The Scottish Government has always and continues to make decisions based on the available scientific and medical evidence. Regarding face coverings, decisions were based on evidence and advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

The Scottish Government Covid-19 Advisory Group, commonly known as the CMO’s Advisory Group, applies the advice from the SAGE and other appropriate sources of evidence and information and use it to inform local decisions in Scotland.

I have noted below links to the appropriate information :

On 4 June 2020, SAGE discussed mitigation measures which included the use of face covering. You can find further information in the meeting minutes which are available on the UK Government website here.

The World Health Organisation released update advice on face covering on the 5 June 2020. The guidance advised that to prevent Covid-19 transmission effectively in areas of community transmission, governments should encourage the general public to wear face coverings in specific situations and settings as part of comprehensive approach to suppress Covid-19 transmission. You can find a copy of this guidance on the WHO website here.

The UK Government released a summary of the relevant SAGE reports for this topic. This can be found on the UK Parliament website here.

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 & 14. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for question 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 and 14. This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

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