De­mand for test­ing to be in­creased

Lennox Herald - - NEWS -

Lo­cal calls are be­ing made for coro­n­avirus test­ing to be rapidly in­creased.

Dum­bar­ton MSP Jackie Bail­lie has backed calls from a num­ber of lead­ing ex­perts who are urg­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to boost the num­bers of daily Covid-19 tests be­ing car­ried out in Scot­land.

Think tank Our Scot­tish Fu­ture, run by for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Gor­don Brown, has re­leased a re­port claim­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has not con­ducted any­where nearly as many tests as should have been car­ried out.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment an­nounced it would be in­creas­ing test­ing but Jackie says it still falls short of the 10,000 tar­get ear­lier promised.

She said:“TheWorld Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion and health ex­perts around the world have been mak­ing it clear from day one that we must test, test and test again.

“With­out wide­spread test­ing, we will not un­der­stand the scale of the fight that we face and we will not be able to re­spond ap­pro­pri­ately.

“I wel­come the changes that have been made sur­round­ing test­ing pol­icy in Scot­land but it has been slow and is still not any­where near far enough.

“The public de­serves to be re­as­sured by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment that it is do­ing ev­ery­thing it can to keep them safe.”

First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon said: “At the start of this outbreak, only two lab­o­ra­to­ries in Scot­land car­ried out tests.

“Now there are labs at all 14 health boards, we have ex­ceeded our tar­get to test 3,500 sam­ples a day in the NHS and, work­ing with the Light­house Lab at Glas­gow Univer­sity, ca­pac­ity for test­ing in Scot­land has now reached 8,323 and is on track to ex­pand fur­ther this month.

“We now in­tend to un­der­take en­hanced outbreak in­ves­ti­ga­tion in all care homes where there are cases of Covid-19 – this will in­volve test­ing, sub­ject to in­di­vid­u­als’con­sent, all res­i­dents and staff, whether or not they have symp­toms.

“In ad­di­tion, we are test­ing symp­to­matic over 65s as well as those who need to leave their homes to work.

“We are also ex­pand­ing the sur­veil­lance test­ing pro­gramme to in­clude an­ti­body test­ing.”

Con­cern Jackie Bail­lie MSP

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