During a special question session in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday (17 March), South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth called on the Scottish Government to increase Covid-19 testing in Dumfries and Galloway.

On Monday (16 March), it was announced that Dumfries and Galloway had one confirmed case of Covid-19, however this was proved to be a false positive, meaning that as of Tuesday (17 March), the region had no confirmed cases.

However, today (Wednesday) NHS Dumfries and Galloway confirmed that two people have tested positive for Covid-19. There are a further two presumptive cases which are currently being treated as Covid-19 while the health board awaits confirmation.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Colin Smyth said: “Yesterday (Monday), the Government’s figures showed that the first case in Dumfries and Galloway had been confirmed.

“Today, I understand that there are, in fact, no confirmed cases, because that test was inconclusive, but nobody believes that nobody in the region is suffering from coronavirus.

“Many people are self-isolating either because they have symptoms or because family members have symptoms, but most of those people will not be tested.”

Colin Smyth also sought answers from Health Secretary Jeane Freeman about plans to redeploy workers from one local government department into social care.

He said: “Given what [the Health Secretary] has said about the need to redeploy people, for example, from one local government job to another in social care, will she ensure that the definition of “key worker” includes not only people who carry out the tasks at the moment but people who could be redeployed from other departments to carry out such tasks, so that we can keep the workforce as strong and as large as possible?”

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