UK Increasing Number Of Coronavirus Test Centres To 48
The government has revealed plans to increase the number of coronavirus testing centres from 31 to 48.
Speaking at today's daily press briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The government is working through our action plan which has as its core that we must protect life and protect the NHS."
Explaining that this would be through slowing the spread and flattening the curve and by ensuring the NHS is 'always there to treat all people who needs its care, he added: "We'll use a rigorous programme of 'test, track and trace'."
Hancock also discussed the government's plans to ramp up testing, saying he wanted to make it 'as easy as possible' for people to get a test.
"Our network of regional test sites has already reached over 30," he said, adding that there would be many more following.
On the subject of testing for essential workers, he added: "From today employers of essential workers will be able to go on gov.uk to get a test for any of their staff who need a test.
"And from tomorrow [24 April] any essential workers who need a test will be able to book a test on gov.uk themselves directly."
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This applies to essential workers' households, too, Hancock said.
He explained that once people are registered on the website they will receive an email inviting them to book an appointment. After you've had your test, results will be sent out by text and a help desk will be available to deal with queries.
As of 9am 23 April, 583,496 tests have concluded, with 23,560 tests on 22 April.
425,821 people have been tested of which 138,078 tested positive.
As of 5pm on 22 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 18,738 have sadly died. pic.twitter.com/0quyQMCheo
- Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) April 23, 2020
Adding that we need to be 'kickstarting contact tracing', Hancock said the government is currently testing the new NHS contact tracing app.
"As we ramp up our ability to test in large numbers, and as we slow the spread of the virus, we also need to make sure we've got the ability to trace contact just as effectively," he said.
"As we look ahead, this is critical to keep the virus under control, and so we're putting the infrastructure in place now so that we can roll out contact tracing on a large scale.
"We're currently testing the new NHS contact tracing app. If you become unwell with symptoms of coronavirus, you'll be able to tell the NHS via this app. The app will then send an alert to other app users that you've been in significant contact with in recent days, even before you had symptoms, so that they know and that they can act accordingly, so we can get the tests to people even if they are asymptomatic."
Featured Image Credit: BBC / PA
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