COVID: Soldiers Help Establish New Asymptomatic Testing Sites In Scotland

Soldiers from 39 Engineer Regiment are setting up the centres across Scotland in a bid to push the infection rate down.

British Army soldiers are helping with the rollout of new coronavirus testing sites across Scotland.

Troops from 39 Engineer Regiment are working with the health service to establish a network of asymptomatic testing hubs to attempt to push the infection rate down.

The sappers are also helping to run the facilities.

Glasgow Central Mosque is one of the sites to have been transformed into a walk-in testing centre.

Lieutenant Jonno Anderson, 39 Engineer Regiment, said the public can get results "in half an hour, whether or not they're likely to have coronavirus".

"This is pretty much why I signed up to the Army, to help people," he said.

"The MACA (Military Aid to Civil Authorities) tasks are really what I see as the Army's 'golden thread' at the moment."

39 Engineer Regiment personnel have been working with civilian contractors to install the testing centre at Glasgow Central Mosque.

The soldiers have been working alongside civilian contractors to convert the mosque into a testing site.

Richard McDonald, City Building, said it has been "fantastic" to work with the troops, especially while many other civilians have been placed on the Government's furlough scheme.

"The Army don't go on furlough – the Army are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, no matter what," he added.

Sapper Charlie Maughan, 39 Engineer Regiment, said the convenience and location of the sites will help those who "might not want to go and get a test the normal way through the NHS".

There have been more than 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Scotland, with more than 7,000 deaths.

The country has taken on an enhanced contact tracing effort after cases of the Brazilian variant were recently discovered.

The Armed Forces have also been assisting with the vaccination programme in Scotland.