Appearing on BBC Question Time Mr Ross accused the SNP leader of presiding over “the highest percentage of deaths in the care home sector anywhere in the UK”. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic the episode of Question Time was filmed without a live audience, and with two of the panel joining virtually.
The audience, from the Edinburgh area, asked their questions via video link.
Addressing Ms Sturgon’s record Mr Ross said: “There have been mistakes and big mistakes in Scotland.
“We’ve got to accept that and listen to the advice that we’re hearing when these mistakes are made and learn from them.
“Because in Scotland we had people testing positive for COVID-19 in a hospital being discharged into a care home.
“There have been mistakes and big mistakes in Scotland”
Douglas Ross on BBC Question Time
“We can’t allow that to happen.”
A University of Stirling study found 65 percent of Scotland’s care homes recorded at least one confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus, versus 44 percent for England and 33 percent for Wales.
Overall it concluded 47 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Scotland were linked to a care home, versus 30 percent in England and 28 percent in Wales.
The reports author, Professor David Bell, said it would take a public inquiry to determine how this happened.
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Thursday’s BBC Question Time didn’t have an audience due to coronavirus
He wrote: “Our analysis shows our understanding of the events that led to the tragic loss of life across Scotland’s care homes is far from complete.
“We have pieced together as much as we can, but it will probably take a public inquiry to establish what really happened.”
Mr Ross also accused Ms Sturgeon of failing to publish a report into the care home deaths as promised.
He asserted: “We’ve got to learn from that and Nicola Sturgeon told us we would hear about this and there would be a report in September.
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Douglas Ross pictured with Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Scotland has the highest percentage of coronavirus care home deaths in the UK
“We’re still waiting in October.
“We have the highest percentage of deaths in the care home sector anywhere in the UK here in Scotland so nobody can claim a success.”
However, Kate Forbes, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance in Scotland’s SNP government, defended Ms Sturgeon’s record.
She commented: “I think she’s handled it in a remarkable way.
“I think it’s one of the most challenging situations for any leader to be in.
“At the very beginning she said ‘we’re going to make mistakes’ and she’s been upfront throughout with integrity and honesty that things have been challenging.”
When host Fiona Bruce noted Scotland has a higher COVID-19 inflection growth rate than the UK as a whole Ms Forbes replied: “But we also have the lowest rate per 100,000 anywhere in the UK and that’s the figures that matter.”
New coronavirus restrictions were recently imposed on parts of Scotland
Douglas Ross, MP for Moray, was elected Scottish Conservative leader earlier this year.
Ruth Davidson currently leads the party in the Scottish Parliament where she faces off against Ms Sturgeon each week.
Concern about the British union soared earlier this week when a STV/Ipsos MORI poll found 58 percent of Scots would back independence, versus 42 percent for remaining in the UK.