Thu 23 Apr, 2020

While it’s good to see a clear commitment to the test, trace, isolate approach advocated by the World Health Organisation and experts here in Scotland, big questions remain about how this will be implemented Patrick Harvie

The Scottish Government’s framework for tackling the Covid19 crisis will require further commitments to utilise Scotland’s testing capacity, the Scottish Greens have said.

Following questions from Greens parliamentary co-leaders Alison Johnstone and Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Government has published a framework which has committed to a test, trace, isolate strategy to beat the virus.

But the Scottish Greens have warned more detail is needed to realise that vision, especially when Scotland is not using the testing capacity it currently has.

Responding, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “I’m pleased that the Scottish Government is responding with open discussion, especially when public trust in processes is key. It’s clear we are not in a position to ease lockdown measures anytime soon.

“I also welcome the recognition that a one-size fits all exit strategy for the UK is inappropriate and instead we should base decisions on the science and local circumstances.

“While it’s good to see a clear commitment to the test, trace, isolate approach advocated by the World Health Organisation and experts here in Scotland, big questions remain about how this will be implemented.

“Scotland, just like the UK, has increased its capacity for testing but is not using that capacity. Why not, and how will we ensure that even bigger increases in testing are actually delivered?

“We need the data. What is being done to build and train contact tracing teams? Will this be done by health boards, by local councils, or by the Scottish Government centrally? What role could the voluntary sector and community organisations play to increase the reach of contact tracing? And how will people’s personal data be protected, especially if GPS apps are used to monitor people’s proximity?

“This document moves the debate forward in very helpful ways, but it must now be followed up with detail on how these plans will be implemented.”

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