Wed 13 May, 2020

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has yet to commit to regular testing of frontline NHS and care staff for COVID-19, despite the proposal being backed by experts, including Sir Harry Burns, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

At FMQs Scottish Greens parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone raised the results of new research into testing at a Cambridge hospital, which found a significant number of staff had COVID-19 without displaying any symptoms. 

Alison Johnstone said: “It’s beyond the doubt that regular testing is needed both to protect frontline staff and to get control of this virus. A growing list of experts and organisations have backed my proposals for this to happen, so it is difficult to see why the Scottish Government hasn’t made this a priority.”

Ms Johnstone also labelled the Scottish Government’s decision to postpone plans for Low Emission Zones in Scotland’s cities as “dangerous”.

“COVID is a virus that attacks people’s lungs, so the very last thing we should be doing is dropping public health measures that protect people’s lungs. 

“Dirty air in Scotland was killing thousands of people before the pandemic, and there is now strong evidence that it results in more people who catch COVID dying

“The First Minister must reverse this dangerous decision to ditch an important public health intervention in the midst of a public health emergency.”

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Scottish Govt care home testing claim doesn't add up

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The policy to test all care home staff was announced a week ago and would require over 7,000 tests a day to meet that demand.

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Jeane Freeman told Scottish Green health spokesperson Alison Johnstone that regular testing of care home staff had already begun, but some staff had not given consent.

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