Scottish Government responses to parliamentary questions asked by Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has highlighted the need for permanent and full time Covid-19 testing facilities to be opened to serve Dumbarton, Helensburgh and the Vale of Leven.
The answers showed that on the days that testing was available in Helensburgh, demand rose from 0 tests being carried out on 20 July to a peak of 288 tests on 7 September. Similarly in Dumbarton, 22 tests were carried out on the first day that access was available on 3 September, rising to 197 daily tests on 15 September.
The response also confirmed that the Vale of Leven is yet to have any mobile testing unit in the area. Jackie Baillie has argued that the number of tests being carried out in both Dumbarton and Helensburgh highlights an obvious urgent need for testing across the entire constituency.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“The sharp rise in the number of tests being carried out on the days that local people are able to access the mobile unit shows the urgent need for permanent and full time testing site to be set up in the area. Whilst I would favour the Vale of Leven hospital as a central location accessible for the whole constituency, the main thing is that we need something local.
“Our area has been one of the most severely hit by Covid-19. Having constant, easy access to testing is the only way that we can hope of fighting this virus and keeping ourselves and others safe.
“The huge numbers of tests being carried out on the days that these hubs are open would suggest that the most logical thing to do is to have these sites open five days a week rather than just three. I have repeatedly called on the Scottish Government to provide our community with easier access to testing. I will continue to do so until I feel that local people are fully protected and supported and we have a permanent local testing site at the Vale of Leven hospital or other local site.”