Shortage of virus tests in United Kingdom hurts effort to fight 2nd wave

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 16, 2020

Meanwhile, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has outlined plans to restrict access to tests, while officials in the government reportedly hope that reports about severe shortages of testing kits would bring down the demand from the "worried well".

He also insisted the average distance travelled to a test site is now 5.8 miles, adding it is "inevitable" demand rises when a "free service" is available.

But Labour's shadow health secretary Mr Ashworth said Mr Hancock was "losing control of this virus".

"We've seen a sharp rise in people coming forward for a test, including those who are not eligible, " Hancock said.

"I think there is a surge in demand (and) I think our stated capacity is very different from actually how many tests can be run in a given day", he said.

HEALTHCARE services are being jeopardised by lack of access to coronavirus testing, hospital bosses in England warned today.

The Health Secretary acknowledged that there were "operational challenges" in the testing system as he was summoned to answer an urgent question on the situation in the Commons.

"I do not shirk from decisions about prioritisation", Mr Hancock said.

Mr Hopson said the funds need to know more details so they can plan accordingly, for example by setting up their test facilities.

"As demand has risen, we are having to prioritise once again".

"Trust leaders are frustrated that, throughout the pandemic, the government has always seemed more concerned with managing the political implications of operational problems rather than being open and honest about them - shortages of PPE and testing reagents earlier in the pandemic being good examples".

In response to Ms Wilson's question, Mr Hancock said MPs should tell their constituents that tests are "available in large numbers" and added: "People should take this seriously and not game the system".

United Kingdom ministers are drawing up plans to restrict "frivolous demands" for coronavirus tests, conceding that they didn't expect there would be so many people willing to take them, the Times reported, adding that despite a staggering 200,000 tests being carried out each day, demand is still much higher.

Acute clinical care is the top priority, with social care next on the list and now receiving more than 100,000 tests a day.

"I think that we will be able to solve this problem in a matter of weeks", Mr Hancock replied.

They said that, overall, the gap between members of the public seeking a test and being able to do a test "is not going to go away". But the estimated cost for the program almost matches the whole NHS budget, Dr. Chaand Nagpaul says in a speech he plans to deliver Tuesday to the annual meeting of the doctor's union.

She said: "A number of them have also been advised that if they put an Aberdeen postcode into the system, they can get a test in Twickenham and they have succeeded".

A government website providing statistics on coronavirus testing shows that the number of tests processed each day, which was around 200,000 last week, is by far exceeded by the existing estimated total testing capacity reported by the laboratories, which amounted to over 374,000 tests per day as of September 10.

A doctor working in the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak said that she and her partner had tested positive for a cough and fever. "To further support the national Test and Trace programme, NHS hospital labs have now been asked to further expand their successful, fast turnaround and highly accurate, testing capacity".

Professor Alan McNally, director of the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, who helped set up the Milton Keynes Lighthouse Lab, told BBC Breakfast there were "clearly underlying issues which nobody wants to tell us about", plus a surge in demand for tests.

NHS Providers said a lack of testing also hindered preparations for winter, as hospitals could become more crowded due to Covid-19 and seasonal flu.

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