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FM must say when testing capacity will be ready for contact tracing

April 20, 2020 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today called on the Scottish Government to outline when it will have sufficient testing capacity to restart contact tracing on the scale that we may need to exit the lockdown. He has also asked for a detailed plan of the steps that are being taken to get us ready.

Mr Rennie said:

"I am not asking the First Minister to reveal exactly when we will exit lockdown but I think it is reasonable to ask when there will be sufficient capacity to conduct effective contact tracing that may be part of the exit strategy.

"Contact tracing has a significant role to play in tracking the spread of coronavirus and ensuring a rapid response. We've seen it work effectively abroad, from Germany to South Korea.

"When we get to a state when restrictions are starting to be lifted, the ability to test, trace and isolate cases could become incredibly important if we are the prevent a second wave of infections immediately breaking out.

"I fully accept that she must be guided by the science and by her medical experts on this. However, I believe it is important that she spells out when there will be sufficient capacity on testing and a detailed plan on how that capacity is to be increased.

"It may be that test, trace and isolate will be important so we need to know whether we will have the capacity we will need to make it happen."