Coronavirus: Testing problems to be solved in weeks, says Hancock

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the testing system is facing a “massive challenge” after “rapid growth”.

When challenged on reports of people struggling to get a test, Mr Hancock said there would be a “matter of weeks” to solve the problems.

He said that number 10 will update its testing policy soon to give priority to the most urgent cases.

Labor said there were no tests available in the virus “hotspots” over the weekend.

This is when hospital owners warned that lack of testing for NHS workers was putting services at risk.

The increase in demand for coronavirus tests has led to a local shortage, with some directed to test hundreds of miles from their homes.

People have told the BBC about their frustration at being away from a walk-in test center in Oldham, north-west England.

A woman attending the walk-in center said that staff told her that the labs were struggling to twist the exam results.

One parent questioned whether they would have to keep their child – who has a high temperature and a cough – in school indefinitely until they were inflamed.

Another parent, who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung problems, said that he would go about testing problems after a classmate sent his daughter home from school due to being infected with the virus. Were “really worried”.

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Media captionBBC spoke to people trying to conduct tests at a center in Oldham

On Saturday, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told the BBC that the government was working to increase testing capacity through investments in new testing centers and so-called lighthouse labs.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that he hopes a backlog in coronovirus examination results will be resolved shortly after “constructive” talks with Mr Hancock.

The UK government announced 3,105 new lab-confirmed cases on Tuesday, with a total number of 374,228 trials. Another 27 people died within 28 days of the positive coronavirus test, taking the total death to 41,664.

For the first time in nearly two months the number of patients in mechanical ventilation beds in the UK has risen to over 100. In the UK, there were 106 ventilation patients on Monday – the first time since July 24 this figure has risen to over 100.

UK-wide figures for today have not yet been published, but on Tuesday there were 101 patients on ventilation in England alone.

According to government data released last week with a test capacity of more than 350,000, about 220,000 tests are performed per day – including swab tests and antibody tests. It aims to increase to 500,000 a day by the end of October.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said there were “operational challenges” with the test, which the government was “working hard” to fix.

He said that during the epidemic he preferred testing as needed.

“I don’t avoid decisions about priority,” Mr. Hancock said.

“The top priority is and always has been acute clinical care. The next priority is social care, where we are now sending over 100,000 tests a day because we have seen all the risks that this virus would have caused in care homes.” is.”

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Media captionMatt Hancock: “We’re working around the clock to make sure that everyone can get a test they need”

Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative chairman of the Health and Social Care Committee, was asking lawmakers to question Mr. Hancock about the test, with many of his constituents traveling for tests, while a key activist had to wait a week for his results Had to do.

“A week ago today, the Secretary of State told the Health Select Committee that he hoped to solve the problem in two weeks,” Mr Hunt said.

“Did the Secretary of State, given the efforts being made by his department, still believe that in a week’s time we will solve this problem?”

“I think we will be able to solve this problem in just a few weeks,” Mr. Hancock replied.

“So we are managing to provide record capacity, but as he is well aware that demand is also high and the response to that is to make sure we have priority so that the people who need it So they can get tested. ”

Downing Street acknowledged “significant demand” for coronavirus tests but said “the capacity is the highest ever.”

Despite the Health Secretary’s promises, there will be no easy solution to the lack of tests.

All are hopeful that matters will increase. As society reopens we become more operational and we are entering a period when respiratory viruses thrive.

As the cases progress, so will the demand on the test system. With the promise of more testing capacity in the coming weeks, the lack of continuation is a distinct possibility.

A new lab is scheduled to open later this month which will be able to perform 50,000 tests in a day. But it was easily swallowed.

This means that testing has to be prioritized where it is most needed. This care will take place in homes, hospitals and key workers as well as in local outbreaks. The government’s monitoring program operated by the Office of National Statistics will also be protected.

But it is not unique to the UK. Other countries are also facing similar pressures. In fact, Britain is testing more people per capita than Spain, France and Germany.

It promises to be a difficult winter across Europe.

‘big challenge’

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Mr Hancock was “losing control of the virus”.

“When schools reopen and people return to workplaces and social discrimination becomes harder, the transition is exacerbated,” he said.

“Additional demand on the system was unavoidable, so why did it not use summer to expand NHS lab capacity and fix contact tracing?”

Responding, Mr. Hancock said: “I do not deny that this is a huge challenge and when you have a free service it is inevitable that demand increases.

“The challenge is to ensure that we prioritize the tests that we have as a nation that need it most.”

What is the average visit to Kovid-19 test center?

By Ben Butcher, BBC Reality Check

Health Secretary Matt Hancock claims that the average distance from a testing center by people is 5.8 miles.

Last week, he used a slightly different figure – 6.4 miles.

So, is this correct? The problem is that they are not releasing data on travel times – despite our repeated asking.

The Health Department says it plans “at some point in the future”. This makes it very difficult to investigate claims.

It has given a limited amount of information about the methodology.

The average distance refers to as “crow flies”, so it does not take into account that most roads are not a straight line between one’s home and the test site. This would mean a higher average distance.

For example, if one were to drive between the BBC London offices and the Wembley test site, the distance between the two is 5.5 miles. However, once we take the roads into consideration, it increases to about 8 miles.

Additionally, Mr. Hancock previously stated that 90% of people traveled less than 22 miles, meaning that 10% traveled further.

In the latest week, 199,000 tests were processed from field testing facilities, meaning that over 20,000 people traveled 22 miles.

We do not even know how many people asked for a test slot, but did not travel because the site they offered was too far away.

Earlier, Home Secretary Preeti Patel told BBC Breakfast that the government was “growing capacity” where it was needed.

“There is obviously a lot more work that needs to be done with Public Health England and the actual public health bodies in those particular local areas, and as a government we work with Public Health England to address local hotspot areas Demand increased. ”

Ms Patel also said that England’s new rule of six meant that families should not stop on the road to talk to friends.

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