Commenting on the Scottish Government’s Ministerial statement on testing strategy today, Scottish Labour deputy leader and health and social care spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “I welcome much of what the minister has announced today, and the vaccine roll-out has been great news.
“However, the Scottish Government’s own Covid-19 advisory group has said more people need to be tested. An expanded community testing programme could be a game-changer but after all the efforts to scale up capacity, the SNP seems content to let more than 50,000 gold standard PCR tests go unused every day.
“Only last week, less than 6,000 asymptomatic tests were carried out at community sites but 155 positive cases were uncovered. It begs the question; how many more cases are being missed?
“The Cabinet Minister must also address the SNP Government’s dreadful record of awarding of self-isolation grants. Only 30% of applications were successful from November to January. We cannot have a situation where people will either refuse tests or do not self-isolate as a result of a failed application, because they risk losing jobs or income.
“The experts are clear the virus is still going to be here for some time, so we need expanded community testing and tracing to find and isolate outbreaks – and we must have assurances from the Scottish Government that their woeful track record in delivering self-isolation support grant will be rectified urgently.”