Today’s announcement underscores the need to have a comprehensive test and trace system in place. In August, the First Minister promised that, between the UK Government Lighthouse laboratories and NHS Scotland facilities, we would have the capacity for 65,000 tests per day. However, the highest number of tests that were carried out in a single day was 30,619, on Christmas day. Currently, one third of tests are carried out by NHS Scotland, and the majority by the Lighthouse labs.
She also promised that the three regional hubs for testing would have opened by the end of December but, so far, only two have done so.
The test positivity rate over the past seven days is now the highest that it has ever been since the Scottish Government started publishing that data in August. Is there capacity in Scotland to carry out 65,000 tests per day? If there is, why is the number of tests that are carried out on any day well below half of that capacity? When will the Edinburgh regional hub be open for testing?