The government’s testing regime has been criticised for failing to have enough capacity to cope with demand, with reports showing there were no COVID-19 tests available in the top 10 coronavirus hotspots in England.
The UK has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent days, with the so-called R rate of the virus increasing to between 1 and , meaning the virus is spreading at the fastest rate since March. More than 200,000 tests are being processed each day, however there is a backlog of over 185,000 tests according to newspaper reports. Some tests are having to be processed abroad leading to delays.
Ministers say the bottle-kneck in testing is in labs where the swabs must be processed. This has led to hundreds of people with COVID-19 symptoms having to wait up to 5 days for a result of a test. It was reported on Monday that when requesting a test in Public Health England’s ‘watch list’ areas a message appears saying "This service is currently very busy. More tests should be available later.” The issue appears to now be resolved with home testing kits now available.
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