The SNP missed its own coronavirus testing target by more than 200,000 in the last month, it has emerged.
Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish government had capacity for 10,000 Covid-19 tests every day from April 30. This expanded to 12,000 a day on May 15 and 15,500 on May 26.
This should have resulted in 359,500 Scots being tested over the four weeks since April 30.
But this target has been missed by more than 40% as a “shocking” 212,088 tests haven’t been conducted.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw slammed the SNP’s failure to carry out the first principles of Scotland’s test, trace and isolate strategy.
The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly called for the SNP government to get testing capacity out and into the community, particularly for carers working with the most vulnerable groups.
Mr Carlaw said this type of testing will vastly improve data and home in on Scotland’s true “R” number — the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus to.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said:
“As Scotland enters the first phase of easing lockdown restrictions, the R number is an all-important measure of how effective it has been.
“It is now obvious the SNP haven’t delivered anything like the number of tests they promised.
“Because of that, there is far less data to inform the science behind the decisions to ease – or tighten – lockdown.
“More adequate testing would also allow more transparency and a weekly update for the people and businesses of Scotland.
“To get out of lockdown and give people the confidence they need to work and care effectively, this capacity needs to be used to its fullest, every day.
“It is shocking that one month after this announcement, more than 200,000 tests have never left the box.
“Carers are being sent out into the community with no clue whether they are carrying the virus.
“This is risking lives and needs addressed with urgency.”
In April, senior SNP minister Mike Russell told a Holyrood committee that the government aimed to complete tests a day, not just build up capacity.
He told the Covid-19 committee:
“If the target is to carry out 3,500 tests per day, we have to use it. There is not really a distinction — it is a fine, hair-splitting point.
“If you have capacity of 3,500, you will want to use 3,500 and you will want to add pressure to continue to push it up.”