Fri 11 Sep, 2020

Scotland’s COVID-19 testing capacity must be ready for the start of the university term, the Scottish Greens have said.

At First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie raised the fact that the system had been overloaded when schools returned, with many parents having to travel hundreds of miles to access a test.

Patrick Harvie said: “We saw that the testing system broke down when children returned to school last month. With university terms commencing next week, we need to make sure the same doesn’t happen again, and that students are kept safe.

“The rise in infections in Scotland is concerning, but a blame game helps nobody. We welcome the clearer guidance about meeting in groups, but we must ensure the support and systems are in place so that they can be followed.”

Mr Harvie also raised concerns by teaching union the EIS over the provision of education for children with additional support needs under current restrictions, which prevents close contact and one-to-one support.

He said: “Additional support needs staff have told their union that on top of their normal job, some have had to take on the enhanced cleaning duties required at their school, including cleaning up bodily fluids, because of a lack of cleaning staff.

“It’s vital schools are given the resources and staff to ensure that everyone is safe.”

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