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John Swinney says 85% of population took Covid tests in last seven days

A Covid lateral flow test being put into a tube.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has revealed that 85% of Scotland took lateral flow tests in the last seven days.

During the festive period, people were advised to limit social contact as much as possible and to do a lateral flow test before meeting any friends and family.

In an interview with BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Swinney said that the majority of the population seem to have abided by this advice.

He said: “It’s important that individuals take those lateral flow tests, that is a critical part of our defense against Omicron.

“I think what’s encouraging is that lateral flow device testing is high, many individuals are participating. The most recent data I’ve seen indicates that, in the last seven days, 85% of the population took part in lateral flow tests which is very good.”

This comes only one day after Scotland recorded over 20,000 new cases on January 3.

Mr Swinney, who is also Covid recovery secretary, referred to the situation as “very challenging”, but said that the government believes it has a “robust approach” in place to tackle the spread of the virus.

Test shortage

There have been concerns in recent weeks surrounding the supply of lateral flow and PCR tests.

People across the country have been struggling to get their hands on at-home test kits and appointments at some test centres have been limited due to the festive period and staff self-isolating.

The message on the UK Government website last week.

Mr Swinney addressed this issue, which is expected to continue as people return to work and children return to school in the coming days.

He said: “I think there will be congestion at different points, I think it’s impossible for me to give a guarantee that at individual test sites there will not be challenges in particular geographies.

“I am confident that we have got a strong testing proposition. The level of testing that was undertaken yesterday was in excess of 65,000 tests on a daily basis and I think we’ll see more of that in the next few days.”

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