Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has stressed the continued importance of coronavirus testing as Scotland passed the “major milestone” of more than 10 million PCR tests being carried out.
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 the total has reached 10,017,000.
The checks, which are a more accurate way of detecting Covid-19 than lateral flow tests, are carried out when someone has symptoms or if they have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case.
Unlike lateral flow tests, which can be done entirely at home, PCR tests have to be sent to a laboratory, with results sent out by text or email.
Mr Yousaf said: “Reaching 10 million tests is a major milestone and recognition of the hard work and dedication of our testing teams across the country.”
With coronavirus restrictions being eased across Scotland, and with case numbers starting to fall back after a sharp spike in recent weeks, he stressed the ongoing importance of tests.
He said: “Testing has a vital role to play as restrictions are phased out and we learn to live with the virus.
“It may be tempting to think, as vaccinations increase and cases drop, that testing will become less important.
“In fact, this will only make it more important to spot and prevent new outbreaks as cases emerge. We know from our experience just how quickly one outbreak can lead to another.
“The ability to quickly identify new outbreaks and put appropriate measures in place will remain at the heart of our strategy to help break chains of transmission.”