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New expert group to study spread of COVID-19

Masked medical professional holds a blood vial with 'coronavirus' written on in

A new expert group providing additional scientific analysis of the impact of COVID-19 in Scotland has been announced by the First Minister.

The panel of scientists, which includes researchers from the University of St Andrews, will provide extra analysis during the pandemic.

As the number of cases increases, it is important that we have the fullest possible understanding of exactly how COVID-19 is spreading in Scotland.

Andrew Morris, Professor of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and Director of Health Data Research UK, will chair the Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group.

He will be supported by Vice-chair, Professor David Crossman (left), Dean of Medicine at the University of St Andrews and Chief Scientific Advisor for Health at the Scottish Government.

The group will supplement the advice coming to the four nations from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) to further strengthen Scottish Government modelling in informing national and local decisions in Scotland during the pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood said: “We are facing an unprecedented situation and it’s crucial we not only follow the latest scientific advice coming from SAGE, but establish what that means here in Scotland on a local level.

“It’s vital that we are well equipped to deal with all possibilities as this outbreak grows globally and this advisory group will play a key role in developing our understanding of the virus and its impact on Scotland.

“We will continue to work closely with the UK Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive as part of a coordinated response to this virus.”

The group also includes Professor Stephen Reicher of the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews.

Members of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group are:

  • Professor Andrew Morris (Chair)
  • Chief Scientist (Health) SG
  • Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland SG
  • Chief Medical Officer SG
  • Deputy Chief Medical Officer SG
  • Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician SG
  • Professor Chris Robertson, University of Strathclyde
  • Professor Mark Woolhouse, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Jill Pell, University of Glasgow
  • Angela Leitch, Public Health Scotland
  • Jim McMenamin, Health Protection Scotland
  • Professor Tom Evans, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Stephen Reicher, University of St Andrews
  • Professor Aziz Sheikh, University of Edinburgh and Scottish Science Advisory Council
  • Professor Devi Sridhar, University of Edinburgh

Media requests for Professor David Crossman in his role with the Scottish Government should be directed to Scot Gov Media Enquiries.

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