Shortages threaten Johnson's pledge of 500,000 UK Covid tests a day

Northerner

Admin (Retired)
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
A pledge to hit 500,000 coronavirus tests a day in the UK by the end of next month could be missed as vital chemicals and analysing machines needed to hit the target are “a few weeks” behind schedule, the body representing their manufacturers has said.

Boris Johnson has insisted the UK will hit the target by the end of October, up from about 260,000 capacity now, despite a number of problems including people told to travel hundreds of miles and delays in getting results back.

But the drive to boost capacity among testing providers to deliver the pledge is in doubt because manufacturers cannot make enough chemical reagents and analysers.

 

Bruce Stephens

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
In addition to the possible problems of delivering 500,000 tests a day, I suspect there's confusion about how many people we'll be able to test. We're doing a bit over 200,000 tests a day, but only testing a bit over 80,000 people a day.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
In addition to the possible problems of delivering 500,000 tests a day, I suspect there's confusion about how many people we'll be able to test. We're doing a bit over 200,000 tests a day, but only testing a bit over 80,000 people a day.
I agree , I don't expect Boris Johnson or Matt Hancock to deliver anything they promise. Having worked in the NHS for 40 years I am cynical !
 

Bruce Stephens

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I agree , I don't expect Boris Johnson or Matt Hancock to deliver anything they promise. Having worked in the NHS for 40 years I am cynical !
Doubling the number of tests available seems like a good goal (though it would also be good to have a strategy for using them beyond the currently fairly random looking one). I just worry that I seem to remember hearing someone saying that at this time of the year we'd expect around 500,000 people at any time to be having symptoms which could be confused with this coronavirus and someone else saying that we were aiming at 500,000 tests a day, and it doesn't seem likely that those two things match in the obvious way.

(I'm not sure that testing ~160,000 people a day is too many or few, or that 500,000 people a day would be right, either. But confusing the two is obviously not going to end well, so I hope the people involved know what they're doing.)
 
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