NHS Scotland has annouced the roll out of a new coronavirus testing programme to control the spread of Covid-19.

The Test and Protect programme will enable residents to be tested for Covid-19, if they are showing symptoms of the virus – and if they test positive, the individual will be asked to supply details of anyone they have come into contact with.

Anyone over the age of five who develops symptoms of coronavirus – a cough, fever, or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste – should book a test on the NHS Inform website, or call 0800 028 2816.

The option to book a test at a mobile testing unit, a drive-through testing centre or order a home testing kit will be made available.

The programme aims to help prevent the spreading of the virus, and protect the region from a second peak. 

Currently, West Dunbartonshire continues to have the second highest number of Covid-19 deaths per head of the population with 12.36 deaths per 10,000 people.

While waiting for the result, the individual who has been tested should self-isolate for seven days, while others in the household should self-isolate for 14 days.

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If tested positive, you will be asked to provide details of all recent close contacts to NHS contact tracers.

“Close contact” includes members of the same household, people you have had face-to-face contact with within one metre, and people you have been in contact with at a distance of less than two metres for 15 minutes or more.

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton is calling for for immediate local testing as there was not a single testing hub accessible within the local authority and that social care staff would have to travel into Glasgow and the surrounding area to access a test. She has called for the immediate testing of all care home staff and residents.

She said: “We need immediate access to local testing facilities so that the public can protect themselves, and a review of the practice within care homes to ensure that no cross-contamination is occurring.”

As part of that, Nicola Sturgeon said a new digital platform was being set up, where people who have tested positive for Covid-19 can enter details of their contacts online.

The First Minister said: “The aim of Test and Protect is to quickly identify cases of the virus and then act to break the chains of transmission.”

She described the new system as being “an extremely important tool for us in the months ahead”.

Ms Sturgeon said: “It will help us suppress the virus as we slowly ease lockdown restrictions.”

The Scottish Government will not have access to the information and all the work of identifying and tracing contacts will be done within the NHS.