Angus MacNeil MP has again redoubled his call to change the policy to test, track and trace rather than go with lockdown alone.
Commenting Angus MacNeil said:
“We should be testing, tracing and isolating in the islands now as our confirmed Covid-19 numbers are so low and we can keep them low with test, trace and isolate. It is argued that Test Trace Isolate can’t work in other places because the reinfection rate is so high. Fortunately in the Hebrides we still have the ideal situation to stay ahead of the virus by testing and tracing.
“The policy of lockdown alone without knowing what Covid-19 is doing in our communities, is not a sustainable policy. We have already seen in Skye what lockdown alone, without testing, has resulted in. A sad and shocking 54 case outbreak and this is only what has been found at a care home, who knows what the wider numbers will be.
“We surely now have to move to a position where we are chasing the virus and not waiting for the virus to come to us. Testing, tracing and isolating is the alternative, it will determine whether we have coronavirus around us and what we need to do to make sure we get rid of it. Or it will tell us if we can lift lockdown. At the moment we are blind and we do not want to wait until we have an outbreak as we have sadly seen in Skye, we do need to change the policy now. I have written to the Health Secretary and await a response.
“We have outstanding offers from the Faroese government and a private company to add to our testing capabilities. I have been trying to find out from the NHS Western Isles whether they are using the current testing capacity to its maximum and if not then why not. They are currently telling me they are “awaiting guidance” with regards to a testing policy change.
“Everything else is in place, we just need a pen lifted to change the policy so that the Health Board will bring about a change to testing in the islands so that we can all have some confidence as to what is going on with coronavirus.
“Sitting tight for coronavirus is a risky and failing policy, we can’t continue with this any longer.”