Pressure to recall parliament amid 'out of control' COVID cases
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said the Scottish Parliament should be recalled amid rising COVID cases.
Sarwar said the virus was now "spinning out of control," with the Scottish Government acting too slowly to introduce walk-in vaccination clinics.
According to data published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), six of the ten regions with the highest COVID rates in Europe are in Scotland.
Sarwar said waiting times between the first and second doses of the vaccine should be cut to four weeks to "keep pace" with emerging cases of the Delta variant.
Last week cases in Scotland reached an all-time high, with over 4,000 cases recorded in a single day.
Sarwar said:“It is becoming clearer by the day that the Scottish Government have allowed COVID to become out of control in Scotland and the response from Ministers has just been too slow.
"Five weeks ago, before this recent spike took hold, Scottish Labour called for walk-in vaccination centres to become the norm - but ministers dawdled and now our exit from the pandemic rests on a knife edge.
“Right now we should be ramping up efforts to contain the virus, but instead the SNP cut corners on Test and Protect and let the vaccine roll-out stall.
“Parliament needs to be recalled urgently so Ministers can answer questions on this growing crisis."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to hold a press conference later today in which he will confirm the easing of COVID restrictions, including the wearing of face masks, in England.
Drop-in vaccination centres have opened across Scotland today, while the Scottish Government has said guidance on the wearing of masks will remain in place.
On Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the vaccination programme was the reason that a surge in COVID cases had not led to the return of strict lockdown measures.
She said: "The importance of the vaccination programme is especially evident, I think to everybody right now.
"We are continuing to deal with a surge in new cases. It is heavily driven by the dominance of the Delta variant.
"Vaccination is the reason that this surge in cases hasn't led to the re-imposition of a strict lockdown.
"I think it would have done that at any earlier stage in this pandemic. But now, and this is the positive thing about vaccination, the vaccines are doing much of the work that lockdown measures previously had to do."
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Annie Wells said: “The SNP are trying to spin a positive picture that they are on top of this situation when in reality the only thing they are on top of is the COVID hotspot tables.
“It’s shocking and deeply concerning that six of the ten regions with the highest rates are in Scotland.
“These spiralling case numbers are a stark reminder we cannot be complacent in our fight against the virus."