Patience ‘wearing thin’ for Nicola Sturgeon amid new coronavirus lockdown restrictions

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The First Minister has been forced to defend her decision to impose new local lockdown restrictions on Glasgow and some surrounding areas, insisting doing nothing was “not an option” in the face of rising numbers of coronavirus cases.

More than 800,000 people have been hit by a sledgehammer of a policy because of a few selfish nuts

Alison Rowat

Around 800,000 people living in the Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire areas were told not to visit other people’s homes.

The new measures – which have been put in place for the next two weeks – also mean indoor visits to hospitals and care homes will now be limited to “essential visits”.

Ms Sturgeon, the MSP for Glasgow Southside, said on Twitter she understood that people in the area are “frustrated”, but urged them to see the move as a “wake-up call”.

But writing in The Herald, political columnist Alison Rowat warned patience was running out in Scotland and accused the SNP of becoming addicted to making a drama out of the coronavirus crisis.

She said: “In effect, more than 800,000 people have been hit by a sledgehammer of a policy because of a few selfish nuts.

“Have no doubt it is a sledgehammer. We have come nowhere near realising what lockdowns have cost society.

“Day by day the picture becomes clearer. A near doubling in the number of patients dying on waiting lists (381 from April to June, up from an average of 192).

“The trauma caused by families not being able to visit loved ones in care homes. A crisis in mental health. Domestic abuse on the rise. An epidemic of loneliness.

“All that before we even get to the impact on education, the economy, and the mounting tally of people losing their jobs.

“Business is losing confidence just when it needs it most.”

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon said that “given the toll we know COVID can take, doing nothing was not an option”.

She added the restrictions had “not been put in place lightly”, adding they were “necessary and, we believe, proportionate”.

The Scottish Minister continued: “We hope they will allow the spread to be contained at an early stage without the need for further measures later.

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“They apply only in these three council areas right now, but I think they should be a wake-up call for all of us. If we let it, this virus will spread rapidly.

“The good news, though: if we all stick to some basic rules and continue to make some sacrifices, we can stop it.”

She said the data so far “suggests that transmission in the West of Scotland is happening not exclusively, but mainly in people’s homes”.

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