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Public Health Scotland has finally given-in to pressure for localised data about the whereabouts of Covid cases in a move that has been welcomed as helping people take precautions

By Scott Maclennan

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Councillor Ron MacWilliam.
Councillor Ron MacWilliam.

An Inverness councillor who has long called for more accurate data about the whereabouts of Covid-19 cases has welcomed the change of heart by the Scottish Government to now provide that information.

Public Health Scotland now publishes previously unavailable coronavirus data by neighbourhood area – with Inverness split into several areas, with the seven-day positive rate per 100,000 of population shown for each.

Cllr Ron MacWilliam had been pushing for accurate geographically tallies of where people with the virus were located in part as a way to help volunteers take the proper precautions as they helped those who were shielding.

He also felt that it would have been an aid to keeping locals informed so they too could protect themselves while at the same time undermining those peddling the rumour mill that frightened many.

He welcomed the move as being in line with the latest thinking on releasing the facts about the virus, saying: “This information is incredibly useful to have. We don’t know how long this pandemic is going to last or how much worse it’s going to get. What we do know is that we will need to work out how best to live with it for the foreseeable future.

“A number of public health academics have been saying for some months that a localised approach will help contain the spread of the virus by engaging communities, partly by providing public information about the prevalence of the virus in local areas.

“Ultimately it is up to individuals to take precautions but they may be more inclined to make the right choices when they know more about how their localities are currently affected.”

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