Scottish Ministers are under pressure after the number of coronavirus tests carried out in Scotland fell dramatically.
Overall tests decreased from 5,472 on Thursday last week to 2,729 on Sunday – a small proportion of the daily capacity of 15,500.
A breakdown shows the latest testing figures for NHS labs has fallen to 2096 and to 633 in regional testing centres.
Critics believe the numbers are a blow as a key part of the Scottish Government strategy to combat Covid-19 is based on ramping up testing.
Meanwhile, new analysis from Cancer Research UK has claimed that up to 3000 covid-19 tests are needed a day in Scotland to get cancer services back on track.
The charity’s experts calculated a drop of around 16,000 urgent GP referrals for suspected cancer since lockdown began ten weeks ago.
Marion O’Neill, head of external affairs at Cancer Research UK in Scotland, said: “It’s deeply concerning that patients are not receiving the cancer diagnostic tests and treatment they need.
“This is partly due to people who have worrying symptoms not visiting their doctor because they’re frightened they’ll become vulnerable to the virus when they go for tests in hospital.
“To address this, we need to see COVID-19 testing efforts ramp up for staff and cancer patients so everyone has confidence that diagnosis and treatment areas are safe.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Scotland is lagging far behind other nations in expanding testing, many of which have recorded fewer deaths from the virus.
“It is clear that the central role of testing in our strategy for defeating the virus should never have been abandoned.
“Even as the Scottish Government begins to ease the lockdown, testing remains far too low, with less than half the number of tests intended actually carried out.
Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw said: “For weeks now the SNP government has been told to carry out more tests to help Scotland beat this virus.
“But instead, the number has now plummeted to the lowest since this new drive began.
“That’s alarming and points to huge failings on testing at the hands of this SNP government.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We expect testing numbers to fluctuate from day-to-day and, over the last seven days, the average number of tests in NHS labs was the third highest to date.
“Tests at the drive through and mobile centres are demand led and the number of people tested there depends on the numbers of people with symptoms coming forward for testing. Over the last seven days, we have seen the lowest number of positive cases since 16 March (262 in total) and this general trend is likely to affect testing numbers.”