Scotland carried out fewer than half the 10,000 coronavirus tests a day Nicola Sturgeon wanted to reach by the end of April, she has admitted.

The First Minister disclosed that 4,661 tests were conducted on Thursday despite testing capacity having increased to 8,350.

However, she announced that a separate target for capacity had been exceeded and unveiled an increase in eligibility for tests.

All residents and staff will be tested in any care home where there has been an outbreak. People aged over 65 with symptoms and their households can also be tested under a UK-wide scheme.

Ms Sturgeon hailed the huge expansion in testing capacity since the outbreak started, rising from a starting point of only 350 per day.

But Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Tory leader, said the SNP government was “still lagging well behind on testing” as Matt Hancock, the English Health Secretary, announced 122,347 daily tests across the UK.

He tweeted: “We need similar government-led ambition and energy in Scotland where today’s reported performance was plainly a disappointment.”

The Scottish Greens said the increased capacity needs to be used, noting that last month only around half of it had been despite “enormous demand.”

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