Rennie calls for testing boost as Scotland lags behind


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today warned that virus testing is “too limited and underutilised” after new analysis by the party showed that Scotland has done almost 20% less testing per capita than England.

Nation

Tests conducted to 13th November

ONS Population estimate

Tests/1,000 of population

England

30,334,480

56,286,961

539

Scotland

2,428,624

5,463,300

445

Since the spring, Mr Rennie has continuously pressed the Scottish Government to get on top of testing. 

Willie Rennie said: 

“Until a vaccine arrives our best bet is a comprehensive package of testing and tracing measures. 

“The Scottish Government has a tendency to make bold assertions about how certain measures would not be beneficial, only for reality to catch up with them. 

“If they had listened to opposition proposals on testing for students earlier, the harsh measures student halls were subjected to could have been avoided. 

“If they had agreed to a full program of testing at Scotland’s airports there would not have been so many cases brought back in the autumn. 

“If they had insisted on negative tests for people discharged from hospitals to care homes, the worst scenes of this pandemic could have been avoided. 

“I am worried that testing capacity is both too limited and underutilised. Slovakia tested their entire population over a couple of weekends and caught 38,000 cases. That is the scale of ambition we should be looking for.” 


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