News that Covid-19 testing is now available to people without symptoms in Stranraer has been welcomed by local MSP Colin Smyth but he believes it’s a case of ‘too little, too late’.

As part of an evolving national approach which is making more asymptomatic testing available, people in the DG8 and DG9 postcodes without symptoms will be able to book tests.

However, Colin Smyth has said this should have been undertaken back in December when it first became apparent there was a serious Covid outbreak in Wigtownshire. The South Scotland MSP believes that mass testing should be rolled out across Dumfries and Galloway.

Colin Smyth said: “I very much welcome any extra testing being made available and the roll out of testing for those without symptoms in Wigtownshire is a step forward.

“However, it is too little, too late – this should have been put in place by the Scottish Government months ago. Back in December it became quickly apparent that there was a serious outbreak taking place in Wigtownshire after Covid numbers skyrocketed.

“Our region went from having nearly the lowest numbers in the country, to the highest, in a matter of weeks due to the new variant. That’s how serious this virus is and what the people of Wigtownshire needed back then was not only testing for those with symptoms but asymptomatic testing too.

“We’ve been told by the experts since the start of this pandemic that many people can have Covid and pass it on, while not exhibiting any of the usual symptoms, which is why mass, asymptomatic testing is so important.

“However, I would now urge everyone in the DG8 and DG9 areas to book a test if they can and help continue to drive down numbers in the area and would urge the Scottish Government to bring in mass testing across the region”

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