The Scottish leader was asked by BBC host Andrew Marr to explain her government’s failure to meet her coronavirus testing targets. Mr Marr blasted: “Originally you said you were going to have 10,000 tests a day by the end of April. Then you downgraded that to 3,500 tests and you’re still below 2,000 tests. Testing is not going well in Scotland, is it?”
To which Nicola Sturgeon replied: “I don’t think you’re factually correct in the first part of that.
“3,500 capacity for tests by the end of April is what we said. Then when the UK Government said it’s 100,000 we said we would seek to make sure that anything they would do and proportionally apply it to Scotland as well.
“We are absolutely on track, not just to meet that capacity but probably exceed it by the end of April.
“The challenge now, and progress has been made on this every day, is to make sure that that capacity is being fully utilised.”
The Scottish leader also said she would diverge from elsewhere in the UK in lifting lockdown measures if necessary, but stressed this decision is “not political in any way, shape or form”.
She said: “If, and it is an if, I’m not saying that we’re likely to get into this territory, the UK Government took decisions that I thought were premature in terms of coming out of the lockdown then clearly I would want to make sure that Scotland did what I judged was best to protect the population.”
Mr Marr asked her when he would be able to see his parents, who live outside Dundee.
She replied: “I’m not going to give you a date for that now, Andrew, because it would be irresponsible for me to do so because I do not have the information that gives me the confidence that I can say that with certainty.
“One of the most difficult, if not the most difficult aspect of all of this is that need for grandparents to be separate from their grandkids.
“My own parents are suffering from that right now and grandparents up and down the country are in the same position.”
“We need to make sure that the next steps are sure-footed, which is why we are proceeding very cautiously and we are sticking to the scientific advice with the social-distancing measures at this time, whilst doing all the homework to make sure that we are prepared in due course for the next phase.”
Mr Raab brushed off a call from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for the Government to set out an “exit strategy” explaining how the lockdown could eventually be lifted.
“Until we can be confident, based on the scientific advice, that we are making sure-footed steps going forward that protect life, but also preserve our way of life, frankly it is not responsible to start speculating about the individual measures,” he said.
Mr Johnson is due to return to work in Downing Street on Monday, after spending the past fortnight recuperating at his official country residence, Chequers.
Mr Raab said: “He is in good spirits. He is raring to go. He is looking forward to getting back at the reins on Monday.”
Published at Sat, 25 Apr 2020 23:01:00 +0000