Ambulance service takes over mobile Covid testing

Soldier at mobile testing unitImage copyright
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Soldiers have conducted about 100,000 tests at mobile units in Scotland

Mobile testing units which have been run by the Army during the coronavirus pandemic are being officially handed over to the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Since late April, soldiers have conducted about 100,000 Covid-19 tests in communities around Scotland

The highest number of people tested at an army run Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) on one day was 773.

Soldiers and ambulance service staff worked together last week in preparation for Monday’s handover.

The Army said the soldiers’ work has been instrumental in maintaining the safety of communities across Scotland, as part of the integrated response to coronavirus.

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PA Media

Image caption

At peak times 18 mobile testing units were deployed

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the MTUs had helped reach some of the country’s most remote and rural areas.

He said: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic the men and women of the UK’s Armed Forces have worked tirelessly to support our response to tackle the virus.”

He added: “I would like to thank all the troops who have worked so hard to run the units for the past few months. We are all very grateful for their work.

“The UK government is boosting Covid testing capacity in Scotland. This includes providing six drive through sites, the Lighthouse mega-lab in Glasgow and the opening of the walk-in testing site in St Andrews. This is on top of testing capacity provided by the Scottish government”.

The Army said that at peak times, 18 MTUs were deployed.

They were each crewed by 12 staff and all soldiers deployed to the MTUs were fully trained infantry, engineers or Royal Armoured Corps personnel.

Some of the MTU staff have been Army reservists, mobilised at the start of the pandemic restrictions.

They will now be going back to their civilian jobs and their regular Army colleagues will return to their units and their operational military roles

BBC News