By Democrat reporter

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, has called on the Scottish Government to be fully transparent when it comes to their reporting and recording of coronavirus deaths and testing.

This comes after the Scottish Government revealed that its daily coronavirus deaths announcement did not include those who were suspected of having covid-19 but had not been tested and those who had died at home.

This means that the actual number of Scots dying from the virus is far greater than the number that the Scottish Government is publishing.

The reported figures from now on will include National Records for Scotland information, which counts all presumed and confirmed covid-19 deaths regardless of whether people die in a hospital, at home or other community setting, such as a care home.

The MSP said: “It is unfortunate that the Scottish Government under-reported the number of deaths, only announcing the deaths of those who have tested positive for the virus and who died in hospital.

“In order for the public to fully understand the scale of the problem that we face, we must be presented with the full picture.

“Committing to widespread testing would allow the Scottish Government to gain far more accurate figures and track the spread.

“It would also enable them to allocate resources to those areas most badly affected.  I welcome the change that the Government has made to the way it reports covid-19 deaths but it is unfortunate that it has taken almost a month after the first death happened for this change to take place.

“As ever, my thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those who have died from this virus and my thanks go to all those key workers who are risking their own health in order to keep us safe.”

Meanwhile, responding to confusion over whether the new testing target includes testing carried out in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:   “Our health workers deserve clarity over testing targets.  Both of Scotland’s governments owe it to them and the public to clearly communicate their plans.

“The sloppy explanation of whether these targets apply to Scotland has only spread confusion and concern. These targets must be immediately clarified so NHS activity and our expectations can be readjusted.”

  • The Scottish Government set out last night that the 100,000 tests per day pledged by Westminster health secretary Matt Hancock for the end of April figure would include Scottish tests. In contrast the UK Government stated last night it would not. The Scottish Government could not provide further clarification last night. 

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