Smoke and Mirrors from SNP: Despite the promises made by the First Minister and the Scottish Government over the last three months, Scotland has the lowest testing rates of any of the four UK nations.

For every 1,000 people, only 21.11 people have been tested, whereas in Northern Ireland the figure is 28.23 per thousand, in Wales 24.73 per thousand and in England, 33.92 per thousand people.

As welcome as the so-called “slow and steady” strategy is for easing lockdown, Scotland is still at a very crucial point with one of the worst death rates in the world.

We could have seen a fewer deaths had more testing been carried out and carried out earlier.

Instead, we have a crisis in care homes, non-Covid treatment in hospitals cancelled causing more deaths, and now an exposed cover-up over the Nike conference that took place in Edinburgh at the end of February.

Whilst many people praise the First Minister for her handling of the crisis, it’s not much of a bar to set when comparing with the Prime Minister.

Remember it was only until very recently that Scotland set a different path on the lockdown, as the Scottish Government had been following the same guidelines as the UK Government, which have rightly been criticised since the beginning of the crisis.

Read more: OPINION Mary Fee MSP: More can be done in these hard times

When the crisis is over and some form of normality has returned, there will rightly be difficult questions for the Scottish Government to answer over its whole handling of the crisis that has resulted in one of the worst death rates in the world and the poorest testing regime in the UK.

Black Lives Matter: Like any decent person, I was shocked to see the death of George Floyd in the USA as a police officer knelt on his neck.

It is no secret that America has a race problem, especially one perpetuated by the sitting president. Yet they are not alone.

As a long-time member of the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee I am aware of the many problems that black and minority ethnic people face in Scotland.

In my time as MSP for West Scotland, I have met and heard from many black and minority ethnic people about the racism they suffer and the inequality they struggle to overcome.

It is up to all as to call out and expose racism and discrimination wherever we see it. We cannot be bystanders and so it is right that the outrage from the US has carried travelled across the Atlantic.

Our society will only be equal when opportunities are afforded to all regardless of colour, religion and ethnicity.