Coronavirus cases have increased in Scotland and on Saturday government figures showed an additional 1,167 people tested positive in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 46,399. Fifteen more people have died from the COVID-19, that total rising to 2,609. Earlier this week, SNP leader and Prime Minister Ms Sturgeon warned Scotland had reached a “critical moment” in the fight against the coronavirus, meaning that tough decisions have to be made.
The Scottish government has introduced a number of measures in a desperate attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country, with pubs and restaurants closed in the central belt and people across Scotland banned from meeting in one others.
Earlier this week, SNP Westminster chief Ian Blackford said Scotland could implement measures to prevent non-essential travel from coronavirus hotspots across the UK – similar to restrictions recently introduced by Wales.
Ms Sturgeon said on Friday that a new multi-tiered system in Scotland “will strengthen our resilience to live with this virus” when it replaces the current temporary measures, which are expected to end on 25 October.
But ahead of those comments, former Labor MP George Galloway, who recently launched the Alliance for Unity political campaign group in a bid to force the SNP out of power and end the argument around a second referendum on independence, launched a furious attack on the Prime Minister.
He claimed the SNP’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was “just as bad as Boris Johnson’s government” and said the Scottish ruling party “certainly had no complaints.”
Mr Galloway accused the Scottish government of “scoring political points” against Downing Street, calling its stance on the coronavirus crisis “totally unacceptable”.
The former Labor MP told Express.co.uk: “The Scottish administration of Nicola Sturgeon has touted its alleged superior performance on the coronavirus, but their performance has been just as bad as that of Boris Johnson’s government.
“There is certainly nothing to say and even if there had been, it is clear that the Sturgeon government defines itself against the government of the same island as a means of scoring political points.
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“As we consider these issues, plan for future steps and, if necessary, take emergency action, we will seek to ensure that Parliament is fully informed and involved in these decisions.”
SNP chief in Westminster Mr Blackford also suggested Scotland could follow Wales to implement measures that would prevent non-essential travel from coronavirus hot spots across the UK.
He told BBC Radio 4 Today: “Of course we have the ability to put in place appropriate public health measures.
“What we can do, if necessary, is say that people should not be traveling from hot spots, whether they are from Scotland or people coming to Scotland from other parts of the UK.
“But it will be done on an evidence-based approach where we believe it is appropriate to protect people in all parts of the country from people who travel where it is not needed.
“When people have to travel for business, for work, etc. – essential travel – they will still be allowed, but what we are talking about is non-essential travel, where it is appropriate to do so.”
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