Nicola Sturgeon grilled on ‘alarming’ coronavirus failures as R-rate remains above one

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The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, also quizzed Scotland’s First Minister on the current package of measures that are in place to help reduce the coronavirus R-rate. Mr Rennie highlighted that Scotland’s Medical Officers have stated the R number will remain above one despite the implementation of lockdown restrictions.  

Mr Rennie said: “Last week alone 567 people waited over two days to get a call from Test and Protect.

“It is alarming that months after the pandemic first hit the Government is still playing catch-up on this.

“When will these dangerous delays be eliminated?

“The First Minister says she expects the current restrictions to make a difference, but the Medical Officers say the R number will still stay way above one, so the restrictions won’t make enough of a difference will they?

“What does this mean for the elimination strategy and are we stuck with a package of restrictions that modelling says just won’t work?”

Ms Sturgeon replied: “In terms of Test and Protect, it is working incredibly well.

“There is a frustration that I have talked about openly in recent weeks, it is improving but it is still not as reliable as we want it to be.

“This is the time it takes for someone being tested and the result of that test going into the Test and Protect management system.

   

“That turn around time is not as quick as we want it to be.

“It is part of the UK Government’s system and we are working with them to improve that.”

Scotland’s First Minister also issued a plea for people to be kinder to each other.

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She said: “Look out for people, offer help if you can and remember this is no one’s fault.

“Our experiences are different, I know, but this pandemic is something that we’re all living through, none of us are exempt from the impact and we are all finding it hard.”

The First Minister added: “I know it can sound cliched, but I will make no apology for saying that love, kindness and solidarity are more important now than ever before.

“Even just a smile and a kind word can help make a tough day slightly better.”

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