THE SCOTTISH Government has now reached its target of recruiting 2,000 contact tracers as Nicola Sturgeon refuted claims that pressure is being put on health boards to roll out the test and protect strategy. 

Speaking at her daily briefing, the First Minister said that Scotland now has “more than a pool of 2,000 across the country” who will act as contact tracers as lockdown restrictions are eased. 

Ms Sturgeon hit back at claims from NHS Tayside which warned the “number of confirmed cases in Tayside outstrips the number of trained staff available to conduct comprehensive contact tracing” - saying the allegation was based on out-of-date information.  

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She said: “NHS Tayside have more than 70 contact tracers in place.  

“We are confident that health boards have what they need. Any health boards who had a greater demand would have the ability to call on demand from other health boards as well. We are building a national capacity as well to help with that.” 

She added: “I’m confident that the capacity that is needed now is there - I think there is more capacity there than is needed now. That capacity will continue to have to be flexible in the months to come.  

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“The number of tests you need for test and protect and the number of contact tracers is dependent on the prevalence of the virus. The more we suppress the virus, the fewer people that will have the virus, fewer people will have symptoms and fewer people will need tested and their contacts traced.”