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UK Government Says Testing People For Coronavirus Is 'Top Priority'

UK Government Says Testing People For Coronavirus Is 'Top Priority'

The UK government has said testing people for coronavirus is now the 'top priority'.

Speaking during today's press briefing, Business Secretary Alok Sharma claimed that ramping up the number of tests was vital in combating the epidemic.

He said the aim was now to reach 25,000 tests a day.

Responding to a question over the need for more tests, Mr Sharma said: "Increasing testing capacity is absolutely the government's top priority. We are now at 10,000 tests a day.

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"In terms of PPE [personal protective equipment], 390 million products have been distributed."

Echoing these comments, Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, assured that 'patients are getting the tests they need' and that there was 'also some spare capacity in that for testing the most urgent healthcare workers'.

Professor Yvonne Doyle hit back at claims PHE was 'dragging its feet' over testing. Credit: PA
Professor Yvonne Doyle hit back at claims PHE was 'dragging its feet' over testing. Credit: PA

She also added that a 'relatively small' number of tests had been carried out on NHS staff, but that there was the capacity for as many as 3,000 tests a day, with those who have come into contact with the sickest patients tested first.

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Prof Doyle also hit back at claims that PHE was 'dragging its feet' over increasing the number of tests, arguing no test was better than a bad test and that the most important thing is 'it [the test] does what it says it does'.

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She then confirmed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive with Covid-19 last week, would review the lockdown measures after Easter.

Adding: "We want to make the right call at the right time on this."

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said everything was being done to see stranded Brits returned home. Credit: PA
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said everything was being done to see stranded Brits returned home. Credit: PA
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It comes after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government was 'working around the clock' to help stranded Brits abroad, having struck a £75 million ($93m) deal with airlines to help 'tens of thousands' get back to the UK.

With tens of thousands of Brits stuck abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic - including 8,500 in Morocco and 5,000 Cyprus - Raab explained the government has struck a 'little or no cost' deal with airlines to get people home, starting this week.

Raab said: "We appreciate that an unprecedented number of UK travellers have been trying to get home.

"I want to assure them that this government, their government, is working around the clock to support, advise and help British travellers get home."

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It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our series, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on coronavirus, click here.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Science, Coronavirus, Health

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]