Thousands of tests and vaccines are being rolled out in Glasgow as a decision on when the city’s level three restrictions might be lifted is expected this week.
The Scottish Government, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the city council have urged those living in the worst affected areas to get tested and take up the vaccine when offered.
At Holyrood, the Deputy First Minister gave no indication of when Glasgow would join the rest of the country in entering level two but made assurances that action was being taken to tackle rising case numbers.
Asked by Sandesh Gulhane, Scottish Conservatives MSP for Glasgow, for an update on the situation in the city, John Swinney said: “We do hope that these restrictions will only have to last for as short a period as possible.”
Lateral flow test kits can be collected from Glasgow Central Mosque and seven other sites at mosques and Islamic education centres in the city, Swinney said.
Concerns were raised about the uptake in vaccines by members of ethnic communities in the city. Pam Gosal, Scottish Conservative MSP, and Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton, asked what was being done to encourage those communities with lower rates of vaccine uptake.
Swinney said: “There are a number of steps that have been taken to deploy various aspects of testing capacity right into the heart of these communities.”
The Deputy First Minister said over 3000 test kits had been distributed from mosques and other sites in the city and 30,000 households would have lateral flow devices delivered early this week.
Eleven local test sites have been adapted to provide both PCR and lateral flow test from 8am til 8pm every day, and mobile test sites have been deployed to a number of locations.
People aged 18-39 are being offered the vaccine in affected areas of Glasgow with crowds of young people queuing outside the SSE Hydro after being told there was space capacity.
The latest seven day positive rate per 100,000 people in Glasgow is 104.6, and concern is rising as new Covid-19 infections in neighbouring East Renfrewshire surge, with the local authority area now seeing a case rate of 94.2 per 100,000 people.
Decisions on whether to change restrictions in both Glasgow and East Renfrewshire, as well as the rest of the country, will be made by the end of the week.
Swinney said: “We are carefully monitoring, on a daily basis, the progress of the virus levels in every part of the country, to ensure we are able to signal where we might have to take action.
“Some of these circumstances can change quite dramatically over a short period of time.”
He said that the government wished to avoid volatility in the setting of restriction levels and that would be taken into account when decisions are made by Friday.
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