The Scottish Government cannot wait for advice from the UK Government’s advisers, it needs to act on the evidence and stop the spread in our hospitalsAlison Johnstone
The Scottish Government must not wait for the UK advisory body SAGE before introducing regular testing for frontline health workers for COVID-19, the Scottish Greens have said.
This morning at COVID committee Scotland’s interim CMO Gregor Smith said guidance on regular testing for hospital staff was weeks away, and revealed this had only been introduced for care home staff after SAGE had advised the Scottish Government to do it.
Scottish Greens health spokesperson and parliamentary co-leader Alison Johnstone proposed regular testing of all front-line staff in April, citing global evidence that people can spread the virus before showing symptoms. The Scottish Government has yet to commit to it, despite evidence that Coronavirus has spread in our hospitals.
Alison Johnstone challenged the First Minister on the delay at FMQS.
Ms Johnstone said: “Today we have reports that nurses are angry and demoralised about the spread of the virus on their wards, then Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer reveals the only reason regular testing was supposedly introduced in care homes was because UK Government advisors told them to.
“Scotland has increased its capacity to test, front line workers are calling for regular testing, so ongoing delays to these decisions help nobody. The Scottish Government cannot wait for advice from the UK Government’s advisers, it needs to act on the evidence and stop the spread in our hospitals.”