Scottish Liberal Democrats today warned that Test and Protect is "buckling under pressure" and urged the Scottish Government to provide reinforcements after new figures showed the performance of the system has worsened significantly in recent weeks.
Public Health Scotland's report today shows:
- There has been a significant increase in the time taken between Test and Protect logging a case and the individual who tested positive being interviewed
- In the week ending 20 June, 50% of people were interviewed within 24 hours. Between 21 and 25 June this dropped to just 29%.
- In the same week, the proportion of people waiting over 48 hours for an interview increased from 15% to 28%, meaning hundreds more people were waiting a long time to be interviewed.
The report also showed contact tracing being stripped back as a result of capacity issues, with secondary contact tracing no longer being undertaken and the calling of those arriving from red countries being paused on 23 June.
Wendy Chamberlain MP commented:
"These are clear indications that the Test and Protect system is buckling under pressure. It's taking far too long to gather critical information.
"People have made huge sacrifices to save lives and buy time. We warned last summer that gaps in Test and Protect would contribute to a second wave. We warned in December that the system needed ramping up to meet the challenge of new strains.
"The Scottish Government has had months to plan for this increase in cases and the management of fans around the EUROs but spent that all time insisting everything was working well. That complacency is now really costing us.
"The system needs urgent reinforcements. We need more tracers to be able to go and hunt down the virus because every minute counts."