Eliminating Covid-19 in Scotland would be near impossible, a health expert has said.
Dr Christine Tait-Burkard said the UK is in a very different position to New Zealand and Australia where such strategies are “quite feasible”, because you can only enter those countries by lengthy air or sea travel.
She said we will have to learn to live with the virus because the fact that it is so widespread across the globe means it is here to stay.
A panel of Scots convened by Holyrood’s Covid-19 Committee has called for an elimination strategy to be put in place to fight the virus, which would see restrictions in place to slowly work the number of cases to zero, though the group accepts there would need to be an agreement across the UK.
Dr Tait-Burkard, a research fellow in the department of infection and immunity at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, was asked whether she believes elimination is a feasible strategy.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Thursday, she said: “It is a very difficult strategy to pursue and in my opinion it’s near impossible, just because we live in a very multi-cultural society and have very close links to the continent.
“It’s a bit different from Australia and New Zealand where these strategies are indeed quite feasible because the only ports are by air or by boat.
“With the UK those links are very close and people can travel very easily.”