Herald fails to ask Experts in its nearest Uni about mass testing

In the Herald, where else?

SCOTLAND has been urged to improve its Covid checks to include border controls as it emerged that the nation is only testing at up to a third of its ability as it hits a second wave of the virus. It comes as questions have been raised over apparent slumps in Scotland’s technical ability to test for Covid and continuing failures to meet the First Minister’s target of contacting one in five of those required to quarantine after travelling to Scotland from high-risk countries.

I weary at times of correcting this fake news but, hey, if only one person is affected and dumps the Herald, I’m happy.

Scotland is only testing a third of its capacity because testing is not THE answer. For example, we have more testing capacity than we need right now because we’re getting ready for worse times to come, perhaps, when we might need it and mass testing can be counter-productive, because the asymptomatic cases cannot be reliably tested and if returned negative, may then go on to circulate more confidently and infect more.

Professor Cam Donaldson, Yunus Chair and Pro Vice Chancellor Research, Glasgow Caledonian University, walking distance from the Herald offices, writes in Coronavirus: as a health economist, I’m not convinced the case for mass testing stacks up:

Beyond prioritising NHS and other key workers, we might ask, in pure cost-benefit terms, what is the point of following the World Health Organization’s “test, test, test” mantra? South Korea, which is characterised as a country engaged in mass testing, has conducted only 400,000 tests, or the equivalent of around a third of NHS staff – which puts into perspective what is really achievable.

In any case, South Korea acted much earlier and combined testing with isolating infected people and rigorously tracing whoever they had been in contact with. None of this looks feasible in the UK. Mass testing would also further divert nursing and laboratory resources from other much-needed care activities, so this must also form part of the equation.


As for the testing ‘fails‘, when will the Herald acknowledge that they have been answered fully since they wondered confusedly at the end of August:

At the time, the Tusker’s reply was:

Less than 3 weeks ago, Scotland’s MSM and their opposition party feeders were hopeful they might embarrass the Scottish Government on their contact tracing data. Sadly for them, last week, the FM was able to reveal 97% success.

Today the figures for England were published and only 75.5% have been contacted, failing the 80% (only) target there: 


Finally, we read in the Herald:

Respected? Once perhaps, though their anti-English stance here will win them new friends.

19 thoughts on “Herald fails to ask Experts in its nearest Uni about mass testing

  1. I thought the quotes from Common Weal in the Sunday Herald article were more anti-Scottish than anti-English. At one point it is stated that ‘it is feared [by Commom Weal] a herd immunity strategy is in place and has hit out at the SG’s resistance to its recommendationsfor mass testing’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Test centres are being set up everywhere in Scotland. They are quite visible, Everyone with symptoms, and some without but contact, are being tested on a regular basis. Reassuring the public. The test and tracing is being carried out successfully. Everyone knows people getting tested who needs it. It is plain to see. Members of people families and work places. Reassured.

    The test, track and trace system in the South is diabolical. Panorama programme showed people being paid £40,000 to be employed to trace for 4 months, it was an utter shambles. The computer system did not work. They sat and twiddled their thumbs every shift. Lack of information. They traced someone a week later who should have been self isolating.

    A complete and utter shambles. Wasting public monies. Dido Harding in ‘charge’ sent messages of thanks. The recruits were doing nothing.Dido Harding in ‘charge’ of Talk Talk when all the customers details were hacked. People were inundated with fraudsters calls, even when they changed providers. Another Tory non entity. £Billion bring wasted by the Tory incompetents. Giving contracts to their associates illegally without proper public scrutiny. Brexit mess and shambles unfolding. Damaging the economy or what’s left.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Testing is an ‘on-demand’ thing when you have symptoms. Capacity far exceeds the demand at present. The problem is I suspect that mass testing would yield only a small proportion of positive cases in return for the effort involved. This is why asymptomatic testing is reserved for those in high risk areas – hospitals and care homes etc.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The system is ‘test and trace’ – they go together, we need to do both. This is long-established and proven way during such things. Follow the definite leads, i.e. the positive tests and find out with whom they have had contact and test the contacts. If someone in Auchtermuchty tests [positive it is likely that most, if not all of their contacts will be in that area. Testing people in Auchenshuggle, Ardnamurchan and Achnasheen who are unlikely to have been in contact seems a waste of resources. We certainly need more localised testing facilities.

      The ‘mass testing’ smacks to me, firstly, of another lie by our proven liar PM, secondly of a bit of kite flying by pharmaceuticals and contractors who have the ear of the government and thirdly, a waste of resources, which even in the most generously financed of time, would be producing negative results close to 100% of the time.

      This is yet another attempt by the British Nationalists to smear the SG by vague association with the failures of Westminster.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. The youngsters spend days in their rooms. Sometimes it is difficult to get them out for food or off the internet. A week of isolation is no sacrifice for them. Especially with pals around. Quite normal. A doodle.

    People getting their flu jab letters sent out. A bit of protection.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Testing may not be the answer as you say, John, but it’s not going to stop Tories dishing out their £100bn scheme to provide daily testing with results “within 5 minutes” and charging everyone for them

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott
      They are already defefacting themselves
      And tis they that shall have the most serious impact upon their offactolory glands
      As they only smell scat as we smell roses
      With the ever increasing support for Indy


  6. Try watching or listening to the WHO Press conferences.


    They say say use the tools we have available. Test, trace, break the chains of transmission.

    I repeat:

    WHO does NOT advocate mass testing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Much as I hate to correct you John, but, do keep up.

    The Herald has moved out of Renfield Street, and is now operating out of a much-smaller office, south of the river in Tradeston.

    What a come-down, perhaps mirroring the paper’s fall form its previous status.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. A current knowledge of where the Herald’s lies are constructed aint going to win Independence.

        Imagine sitting in your house not speaking to people all day then producing a Herald “article”. That’s the personal cost it’s taking to defend the Union.

        Liked by 1 person

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