Coronavirus in Scotland: Council leader takes Covid test at Glasgow mosque as she urges others to follow suit

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken was among those getting tested for Covid-19 at a new asymptomatic testing centre set up at Scotland’s largest mosque.

Nafees Ahmad, committee member at Glasgow Central Mosque, also took the test.

The site, along with one at Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre, is the latest to be set up in the city with tests being administered by the army, aiming to identify those who are infectious and unknowingly spreading coronavirus.

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Ms Aitken said: “I’ve never had any symptoms, I’ve never had any hint that I might have Covid but we know that lots of people are out there and are carrying Covid but they don’t know about it and they’ve not had any symptoms.

“So by getting the test, if I get a positive test, I’ll self-isolate right away so it takes me out of circulation and it lowers that risk of me passing it on to someone else.

“It’s a way of contributing to continuing to bringing the virus numbers down. It was quick and straightforward, very easy – not the nicest thing I’ve ever done but really not that unpleasant.

“I would encourage everyone to get tested. It’s good thing you can do, it’s your contribution to the fight against Covid.”

“Anyone that’s able to pop along – and there’s been a steady stream of folk popping in all day, please do take the opportunity to come along – it’s quick, you get your results very quickly and you’ll know one way or another.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council takes a Covid-19 asymptomatic test at a community hall at the Central Mosque in Glasgow.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council takes a Covid-19 asymptomatic test at a community hall at the Central Mosque in Glasgow.

Mr Ahmad said leaders at the mosque offered the community hall as a testing site.

He said: “There’s a number of reasons why we wanted to get involved. One is as Muslims we are taught to look after our neighbours and do things that benefit mankind in general so this was a way to do that in the current situation.”

He said another reason was they are unable to use the hall due to restrictions and thought this way it could be of help to the community.

Mr Ahmad urged those eligible to come and get tested, adding: “The more testing that we can do – as the World Health Organisation said at the beginning of the pandemic – the better you know what transmission rates are like and and the more steps and measures can be put in place.

Nafees Ahmed takes a Covid-19 asymptomatic test at a community hall at the Central Mosque in Glasgow.

“So more testing would mean better control of the virus and less people hopefully getting unwell.”

Among the members of the public getting tested was Quroum Beg, 38, from Mount Florida in the city’s south side.

He said he wanted to “do whatever we can can to get us out this mess”, adding: “It’s just about doing my part and if I know I don’t have the virus then my family members can feel safe as well.”

Swabs from lateral flow tests do not need to be sent to labs for analysis and the results should be known within an hour.

Similar test facilities will be set up in other Glasgow neighbourhoods in coming weeks.

Waste water tests and the most up-to-date data will be used to identify communities where asymptomatic testing is needed.

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