15 million milestone reached for Coronavirus tests

Scottish NHS hubs help bolster capacity.

More than 15 million COVID-19 PCR tests have now been carried out in Scotland since testing began, nearly two years ago.

The tests, which include those carried out by NHS Scotland at the three NHS regional hubs set up around Scotland and the network of Health Board diagnostic labs, have now reached 15,092,074.

They also include  the four-nations network of Lighthouse laboratories, partner laboratories and testing sites.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: "Reaching fifteen million tests is a major milestone and recognition of the hard work and dedication of our testing teams across the country.

"Testing has a vital role to play as restrictions are phased out and we learn to with the virus.

"It may be tempting to think as vaccinations increase and cases drop, that testing will become less important. In fact, this will only make it more important to spot and prevent new outbreaks as cases emerge. We know from our experience  just how quickly one outbreak can lead to another.

“The recent changes to testing requirements and self-isolation guidance are helping to maximise testing capacity and ensure a speedier start to the process of contact tracing.

"It is crucial that individuals report their LFD test results online to enable us to understand the prevalence of COVID-19 and allows contacts of those with positive results, to rapidly receive the correct advice to prevent onward spread.

"The ability to quickly identify new outbreaks and put appropriate measures in place will remain at the heart of our strategy to help break chains of transmission."

Three regional hubs were established last year by National Services Scotland (NSS) in  Glasgow (west) at Gartnavel hospital,  Foresterhill in Aberdeen (North) and Lauriston Place in Edinburgh (East) to increase capacity. These facilities complement the testing capacity provided by the UK Government lighthouse lab network in Scotland.


Regular lateral flow tests should be taken regardless of whether COVID-19 symptoms are present. Following changes to testing arrangements, a positive LFD result no longer means that a PCR test must be taken to confirm this.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, new continuous cough, or loss of sense of taste or smell, they should isolate and book a PCR test – that advice has not changed.

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