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Testing for coronavirus to increase to 25,000 people a day

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The government is working to increase the number of people tested for COVID-19 to 25,000 hospital patients a day.

The increased capacity is expected to be ready within four weeks, with highest-priority cases being tested first.

The announcement follows a meeting at Downing Street on Tuesday, and comes as home care providers call for coronavirus testing for care workers.

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Mike Smith, CEO of Trinity Homecare  and UKHCA Board Member, told BBC News that the COVID-19 testing is urgently needed, so employees who may be self-isolating, but do not have the virus, can go back to work, and reduce the risk of cross infecting the people they visit.

The increased testing will also include developing a point-of-care swab test outside of hospitals, so people with suspected symptoms can find out if they have coronavirus.

Over 50,000 tests for coronavirus have already been completed in the UK and it is anticipated that, with increased capacity to 25,000 daily, testing levels in the UK could soon exceed that in China.

Last week, the NHS and PHE increased testing to 5,000 a day and that number continues to increase. By next week it is hoped that testing will increase to 10,000 per day.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Public safety is my top priority, and radically ramping up testing for coronavirus is a key part of our plan to protect lives.

“Our aim is to protect life, protect the most vulnerable, and relieve pressure on our NHS – so it is right that we prioritise testing for those most at risk of severe illness. We will always do the right thing at the right time, based on the best scientific advice, and will do whatever it takes to protect life.”

Tags : coronavirus
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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