Demand for testing to be increased
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