Coronavirus in Scotland: winter could be 'the most difficult period the NHS has ever had to deal with', says Scottish medical chief

Doctors’ leader in Scotland has said the coming winter months could be the most challenging the NHS has ever faced as the country experiences a second wave of coronavirus cases.

Sunday, 4th October 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th October 2020, 4:08 pm

Dr Andrew Buist, chairman of British Medical Association Scotland, said the the healthcare system has a risk of “overheating” as medical staff grapple with Covid-19 patients on top of the millions of flu vaccinations due to be delivered as temperatures start to drop.

Speaking to the BBC Dr Buist said: “I think this is going to be the most difficult period the NHS has ever had to deal with.

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"We are clearly in the second wave of Covid, we are entering the winter period when we always get more illnesses and we have to deliver over two million flu vaccinations to the people of Scotland.

"And there’s a risk of the system overheating.”

During his announcement he reminded the public that while NHS services are still running, “it is not business as usual.”

"Things are very different just now and they are going to have to remain very different for about five or six months until we get the Covid-19 vaccine,” he added.

Mr Buist’s statement comes as Scotland sees a daily rise of 758 coronavirus cases in 24 hours as of October 4.

NHS staff carrying out testing at a drive-through centre and Dr Andrew Buist of British Medical Association Scotland pictured right picture: JPI Media
NHS staff carrying out testing at a drive-through centre and Dr Andrew Buist of British Medical Association Scotland pictured right picture: JPI Media

So far, 210 people are being treated in hospital with confirmed Covid-19 and 22 patients with the virus are being cared for in intensive care.

Since the start of the outbreak, 2,530 people have died who have tested positive, yet, 4,257 deaths have been registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

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