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Scotland nears half a million missed Covid-19 tests

23 Jun 2020

Scotland is on course to hit half a million unused coronavirus tests within days, new analysis has shown.

As of last night, 452,081 tests had been made available through combined UK and Scottish Government facilities, but hadn’t made their way to health workers or the general public.

Capacity north of the border has risen steadily, and now sits at 15,500 a day.

But barely a third of that is generally used, with the most recent figures revealing just 3416 took place on Sunday.

That’s despite an SNP pledge to test every member of staff in care homes routinely, and a commitment for frontline health workers to be offered regular testing.

Now shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the SNP’s “chaotic” approach to testing would also jeopardise Scotland’s exit from lockdown, the return to schools and economic recovery.

The World Health Organisation has also made it repeatedly clear that testing is a critical factor in fighting the pandemic.

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“There’s no problem with testing capacity in Scotland, but the SNP is failing miserably at getting these tests to those who need them.

“The nationalists said every care worker would be routinely tested for coronavirus, yet these figures show this clearly isn’t happening.

“This isn’t a few missed tests here and there – we’re now in a chaotic situation where nearly half a million of these have gone unused.

“That’s obviously creating problems for those most vulnerable to Covid-19 and the dedicated staff who look after them.

“But it will also jeopardise economic recovery and the resumption of schooling.

“Everything which takes us out of lockdown will be predicated on a comprehensive and agile testing system.

“But so far the SNP has proved completely incapable of operating one.”