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Daily Record
Daily Record
John-Paul Clark

Latest Public Health Scotland data reveals falling Covid-19 transmission rates as council argue that West Lothian should be in Level Two

The latest Public Health Scotland figures show that Covid-19 transmission rates continue to fall in West Lothian.

The county was this week placed down to Level Three but many feel that restrictions should have been less severe.

The travel ban means residents in West Lothian cannot travel to the likes of Glasgow or Edinburgh for their Christmas shopping.

West Lothian Council say the transmission data proved that the region should be in Level Two.

The latest PHS numbers show Glasgow has 135 new Covid-19 cases, Fife 91, South Lanarkshire 77 and North Lanarkshire 74 but West Lothian has just 35 new cases - yet they are all Level Three regions.

The PHS data as of December 9 shows that there were 35 new cases in West Lothian, with 225 over a week and a total of 3779 since the first person tested positive in the county on March 9.

This means 123 people per 100,000 of the population in the county tested positive for the contagion over a seven day period, just above the national average of 101.

Across Lothian there were 158 new cases reported, 861 over the past week and a total of 14715 since records began.

And nationally 933 new cases of the virus were recorded, with 5530 over a seven day period and a new total of 103,305 positive cases in Scotland.

The latest PHS heatmap data for the 37 neighbourhoods in West Lothian reveals that 16 of the areas now sit outwith the highest red zones.

Mid Calder, Kirknewton and Linlithgow North all sit in the lowest zone with no cases of the virus recorded over the past week.

Just above them Breich Valley, Blackburn, Blackridge, Torphicen and Westfield all had 1-4 recorded cases over a seven day period.

Of the 21 neighbourhoods in the highest red zones, Dedridge East had the highest amount of recorded Covid-19 cases over the past week with 18.

The numbers of Covid-19 related deaths in West Lothian could also be showing some signs of slowing down again.

As seen with the first wave of the virus it takes a while for the death toll to drop after the spread of the virus transmission slows.

The Covid-19 related death toll now sits at 194 in West Lothian, after another eight fatalities were recorded on the PHS dashboard in the eight days since we last reported on the matter on December 2.

In previous weeks The Courier has reported seven days spikes of 14 deaths in November and most recently in early December nine deaths in five days.

Lawrence Fitzpatrick, leader of West Lothian Council said earlier in the week: “The move to Level Three is a welcome one but the latest data and evidence seems to support West Lothian being placed in Level Two.

“Representations were made to the Depute First Minster and Scottish Government on that basis and it is disappointing for all of West Lothian that is not the outcome.

“West Lothian Council has always been supportive and encouraged local people to comply with the guidelines, and we will continue to reinforce the message that the guidance should be followed. Everyone should adhere to the guidelines and help protect yourself and those around you.”

He continued: “At the time of being placed in Level Four, and at each review since, West Lothian met the data-based criteria for Level Three.

“However, the latest data available that the council has from the Scottish Government shows that 4 out of 5 of the indicators should put West Lothian in Level Two, and the one indicator that puts indicates Level Three can be explained.

“Level Two would certainly have been welcomed particularly by the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors of the economy.

“The council obviously understand that the Scottish Government need to find the right balance - but throughout this terrible pandemic the Scottish Government and Health officials have said that we need to follow the science and the data available.

“If that is still the approach then the data in front of us at the current time would support West Lothian being placed in Level Two – however they obviously disagree and have taken their decision.”

It has also been revealed that 5,330 people have received the vaccination jab across the land since Tuesday. Health and social care staff working with the elderly were first in line.

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