Cole-Hamilton outlines demands for future of test and protect
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats
Responding to the announcement that hundreds of coronavirus contact tracers are being kept on until at least September next year, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
"When we were seeing more than 6,000 cases a day and contact tracers were reduced to sending close contacts a text message, I warned that the system was not robust enough and called for more staff. Hardworking staff in health boards and at the national contact centre were run off their feet because the Health Secretary refused to send in reinforcements for so long.
"We were lucky that vaccines arrived when they did because otherwise the system would have completely collapsed. With spikes still popping up across Europe, we need to be sure that we are prepared. That means ensuring that every positive case and close contact gets a phone call, not simply a text.
"We should be learning from countries like New Zealand and South Korea and using contact tracing to break chains of infection and spot patterns of infection before it's too late. Alongside the booster jabs, that's how we keep Scots safe this winter."