South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the news that the Scottish Government has provided extra capacity for daily testing in Stranraer but has said a daily testing unit should never have been removed from the area in the first place.

On Friday, NHS Dumfries and Galloway said it had been provided with the extra capacity to provide daily testing in Stranraer, initially for two weeks, at the Ashwood House site.

However, Colin Smyth has questioned why the Government removed daily testing in the first place, given the huge number of cases in Wigtownshire in December and January.

He said: “This Scottish Government u-turn on daily testing in Stranraer is welcome but frankly, daily testing should never have been stopped in the first place and it still falls short of the mass testing we should have been seeing.

“This terrible virus has wreaked havoc across Wigtownshire and sadly, many people have lost their lives because of it. My thoughts continue to be with the families and friends of those who have passed away.

“It is a disgrace that daily testing was ever stopped in the area, given the huge number of cases and the terrible spread of Covid throughout the community.

“Despite pleas from politicians across the political divide, the Scottish Government only reinstated daily testing in Stranraer on Friday.

“The community of Stranraer and the surrounding area has been seriously let down by the Scottish Government’s failure to put in place mass testing and it’s now almost too late in the day with numbers thankfully starting to decrease. I have raised this issue with the Scottish Government.”

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