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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 02 June 2020

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Resuming National Health Services , Economic Recovery, Point of Order, Decision Time


Contents


Point of Order

Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I apologise for not giving you prior notice of it.

Earlier today, in response to a question from Jackie Baillie, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport made a statement regarding the science of asymptomatic transmission of the coronavirus. She quoted from a World Health Organization situation report that was published on 2 April. She said:

“there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission.”

The cabinet secretary failed to state the following sentences of the report. The next sentence says:

“This does not exclude the possibility that it may occur.”

The sentence after that confirms that

“Asymptomatic cases have been reported as part of contact tracing efforts in some countries.”

I believe that, by the cabinet secretary quoting only the first sentence, Parliament may have been given the false impression that the WHO was denying the risk of asymptomatic transmission, whereas the contrary is true. I am sure that the cabinet secretary will want to correct the record.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Christine Grahame)

I have been a little lax with you, Mr Johnson, because that was not a point of order—it is the only time that I will be. The matter is now on the record, and it is for the cabinet secretary to look at it afterwards. I was not here at the time.