Nicola Sturgeon said it isn’t possible to answer the question as the SNP leader said at all stages the Scottish Government has done what is right at the time. It comes as a further 12 people have died in Scotland from COVID-19 bringing the total number to 915. Ms Sturgeon said 8,450 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland, up by 263 from 8,187 the day before.
The Sky News host said: “Nicola Sturgeon there unable to answer James Matthews question on whether as to whether earlier testing would have meant Scotland is closer to the end of isolation.”
Sky Correspondent Mr Matthews asked: “If you had begun testing earlier and made it more widespread, would you be closer to the end of the lockdown and would fewer people have died?”
Speaking at the press conference Ms Sturgeon said: “I don’t think it is possible to answer questions like that at this stage.
“We have at all stages done what we considered to be the right and the best way or containing and then delaying and suppressing the spread of this virus informed by science and evidence.
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Nicola Sturgeon at the daily press conference
Ms Sturgeon said her Government will look at the framework to lifting the lockdown measures
“As we get through this pandemic and get out the other side of it, which is not imminently, everyone will want to look back and learn lessons.
“That’s important for accountability.”
The First Minister went on to say the Scottish Government will set out “towards the end of this week” a framework which will guide its lifting of lockdown measures.
She said: “I want to be clear, however, that the initial version of this work will not set out what measures will be lifted and when.
Nicola Sturgeon said 8,450 people have now tested positive for the virus in Scotland
“We are simply not yet in the position to take those decisions in a properly informed way.”
She stressed she will not rush to remove the measures as this could risk a resurgence of the virus, overwhelming the NHS and putting many more lives at risk.
She added: “It will also be clear in the work we set out later in the week that living with this virus, as we will need to learn to do, is likely to mean some restrictions on everyday life in the form of social distancing for some time to come.”
It comes as the oss of a care home where the deaths of nine residents have been attributed to COVID-19 has criticised the Scottish Government over a lack of testing.
The Newark Care facility in Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, said no staff or residents had been tested, despite repeated requests to the Government.
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Chief executive Jack Ryan has now written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlining his concerns, after she announced on Wednesday all symptomatic staff and residents in care homes would be tested.
He wrote: “You stated that it is standard practice for testing of early cases to be carried out within care homes.
“You need to be aware that despite having now lost nine residents whose deaths have been reported as coronavirus-related, there has been no testing at any point.
“All occurrences were reported to public health, East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership and the Care Inspectorate.
“We have asked repeatedly for testing, from the first instance and for every case which developed in the days that followed.”