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Test centre calls for Stranraer

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Test centre calls for Stranraer

CALLS have been made for a walk-in Covid-19 testing centre to be set up in Stranraer as a matter of urgency.

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has asked the Scottish Government for it following a dramatic increase in cases in the town.

She has lodged a written question to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeanne Freeman, to request a walk-in centre similar to the ones established other parts of Scotland.

Ms Harper referenced areas with similar population sizes to Stranraer (POP 10, 593 people), such as Galashiels (pop 14.632 people) Wick (pop 7,333) and Oban (pop 8,500), saying a walk-in test centre would allow for a greater equity of access to covid testing for people who do not have access to cars and who rely on public transport.

Currently a mobile testing unit visits towns around the region and has been available earlier this week, with future dates to be announced.

Ms Harper said: “I think it’s imperative that with spiralling cases in Stranraer that a walk-in centre is established here as it is in other Scottish towns with similar population sizes.

“Our communities have done so well to look after each other throughout this campaign but Stranraer remains a fragile rural town with many of its folk elderly and vulnerable so any flexing of the rules by anyone, regardless of age or circumstance, means we automatically put others at risk which simply isn’t worth it.”

*As of 4 January Public Health Scotland reported 3148 per 100, 000 population in west Stranraer, 3254 per head of population in east of the town and 4456 per 100, 000 population in south Stranraer having tested positive over the seven-day period leading up to 4 January.

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