LEADER, April 10 2020

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Need for local information

There was frustration this week as we struggled to get local statistics and information about the coronavirus pandemic from health chiefs and police.

NHS Highland’s press officers told us they could not give us more localised figures than those for the entire board region – which covers an area of about 20,195 square miles, from Kintyre to Caithness.

Similarly, the local Police Scotland officers we usually liaise with told us all coronavirus-related queries must be put to the force’s centralised communications officers, who informed us they could only provide a divisional breakdown for Argyll and West Dunbartonshire – an area of 2,950 square miles.

NHS Highland is urging people to social distance and stick to the lockdown rules.

While the streets seemed empty when the lockdown was initially announced, there are increasing reports of people gathering in groups again. Perhaps these are the same people who foolishly believe that Kintyre is immune to the virus – it is not.

We have heard reports COVID-19 is already here, but the authorities just refuse to confirm this at a local level.

It is hoped that social distancing is having an effect, but it only works as long as we keep it up.