Wed 6 May, 2020

The First Minister must take urgent action to ensure Scotland’s Covid-19 testing capacity is being used, as recent figures suggest around three quarters of capacity is currently going unused.

Speaking at FMQs this afternoon, Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP noted that two weeks ago the FM told him she wanted to, “use to the full now the capacity that we are building.” Yet despite building that capacity to over 8000 per day, yesterday the Scottish Government’s published tables showed that day testing was just 1616.

Commenting, Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“I’m pleased that the Scottish Government has now indicated that it will adopt a test, trace and isolate approach as Greens had been calling for. It remains the case though that the Scottish Government is continuing to underuse its testing capacity, while at the same time following the UK Government’s approach which has led to it having the largest number of Covid-19 deaths in Europe.

“Two weeks ago, the First Minister indicated that she wanted to, “use to the full now the capacity that we are building,” Yet around three quarters of testing capacity continues to go unused.

“Scottish Greens have laid out clear proposals to introduce regular testing of health and care workers, a process that would ease anxiety, reduce the spread of the virus, and protect frontline workers and those they care for.

“We know there is enough capacity in place to introduce this testing immediately, so the government must urgently do so, or explain exactly what other measures it will put in place to use the additional unused testing capacity that is available.”

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