Sat 25 Apr, 2020

Scottish Greens have today published a proposal calling for hospital and care workers who are on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic to be given routine tests regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.

Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Alison Johnstone MSP explained that the proposal would address concerns that infected health and care workers who are pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic or suffering mild symptoms may be spreading Covid-19 to patients and others.

The proposal intends to reduce anxiety and better protect health and care staff and ensure needless isolation does not take place.

There is significant additional testing capacity in Scotland making this both achievable and practical.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“The proposal I have published today would allow for all health and care workers on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic to be routinely tested regardless of whether they are showing symptoms of the virus.

“There are significant concerns that infected health and care workers who are pre-symptomatic, asymptomatic or suffering from mild symptoms may be spreading Covid-19. Instituting routine testing would help reduce anxiety and better protect frontline staff and it would ensure no one needs to isolate needlessly.

“A significant volume of Scotland’s testing capacity is currently going unused. This additional capacity makes the swift implementation of regular health and care worker testing practical and achievable.

“There is serious concern among health and care workers that hospitals and care settings are becoming hotbeds for transmission of the virus. I have no doubt that expanding testing by introducing routine testing for hospital workers and care staff would provide a significant boost to frontline morale at this difficult time. As well as providing reassurance the implementation of routine testing would of course play a crucial role in reducing the spread of Covid-19. That’s why I’ve written to Health Secretary Jeane Freeman today, urging her to implement routine testing urgently.”

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