Publication - FOI/EIR release

Risk assessment of long Covid: FOI release

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

Published:
21 Sep 2021
Risk assessment of long Covid: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100228743
Date received: 5 Aug 2021
Date responded: 26 Aug 2021
Information requested

Risk assessment by/on behalf of the UK Government that the UK Government has supplied to the Scottish Government relating to people in the UK (which may include Scotland) getting long Covid from coronavirus caught after the easing of restrictions in England from 19 July; (and) any risk assessment the Scottish Government has done or commissioned in relation to this.

Response

The Scottish Government has not been supplied with any risk assessment on this issue undertaken by or on behalf of the UK Government. The Scottish Government has not itself undertaken or commissioned any risk assessment on this issue.

The Scottish Government takes the long-term effects of COVID-19 (often referred to as ‘long COVID’) very seriously and recognises the impact these can have on the physical and mental wellbeing of those affected in Scotland.

All decision-making in responding to COVID-19 is guided by the latest scientific evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), advice from Health Protection Scotland and our Chief Medical Officer. As set out in our Strategic Framework update of 22 June, the role of restrictionsin managing the epidemic in Scotland will be significantly reduced as the protective effect of the vaccine both reduces the direct health harms of the virus and helps to reduce transmission.

The Office for National Statistics publishes monthly estimates of the number of people with long COVID for the UK and each of the four constituent nations, derived from the COVID-19 Infection Survey. Here is a link to the most recent monthly report: Prevalence of ongoing symptoms following coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the UK - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk). This report shows that, over the four-week period ending 5 August 2021, an estimated 75,000 people (95% confidence interval: 66,000 to 85,000) in private households in Scotland (1.43%; 95% CI: 1.25% to 1.61%) reported experiencing long COVID (symptoms persisting more than four weeks after the first suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) episode that are not explained by something else). The estimates relate to self-reported long COVID, as experienced by study participants who responded to a representative survey, rather than clinically diagnosed ongoing symptomatic COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 syndrome in the full population.

The Scottish Government’s weekly ‘Modelling the Epidemic in Scotland’ publications now include projections for the number and percentage of people likely to experience long COVID symptoms in the future, based on Scottish Government medium term projection modelling. Here is a link to the most recent weekly report: Coronavirus (COVID-19): modelling the epidemic (Issue No. 65) - gov.scot (www.gov.scot). This report shows that, at 5 September 2021, between 41,000 people (0.7% of the population) and 110,000 people (2% of the population) are projected to experience symptoms for 12 weeks or more after their first suspected COVID-19 infection in Scotland.

If you do not have internet access, we can provide you with paper copies of these publications.

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Contact

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

The Scottish Government
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Regent Road
Edinburgh
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