UK did meet 100k coronavirus testing target or came ‘very close’ minister says


BRITAIN did meet its 100,000 a day coronavirus testing target yesterday or was "very close", a minister has said this morning.

Robert Jenrick told Sky News that Thursday's figures would be released later today, and he was hopeful of a huge ramping up in the final day of April.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates


Health Secretary Matt Hancock set the ambitious target earlier this month as part of a promise to increase the numbers of tests being done.

He has expanded the criteria meaning that 25million NHS staff, key workers and others who need to leave the house to go to their job can now get a test.

Yesterday Boris Johnson revealed that the country was 20,000 short of the target, and had tested 81,000 on the second to last day before the target had to be met.

The Housing Secretary said: "I think we will have either met it or be very close."

"In that sense the target will have succeeded because it will have galvanised people across government, in the private sector and across the country to build the network that we needed to, which is the foundation of testing, tracking and tracing, which we need in the next phase of fighting the virus."

He added: "This in itself is just a stepping stone.

"We need to go beyond 100,000, but we have now seen a very substantial increase in testing in quite a short period of time.

"In that sense, it's been a success. But there's more to be done."

Give now to The Sun's NHS appeal

BRITAIN’s four million NHS staff are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.

But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?

The Sun has launched an appeal to raise £1MILLION for NHS workers. The Who Cares Wins Appeal aims to get vital support to staff in their hour of need.

We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in their urgent Covid-19 Appeal to ensure the money gets to exactly who needs it.

The Sun is donating £50,000 and we would like YOU to help us raise a million pounds, to help THEM. No matter how little you can spare, please donate today here: www.thesun.co.uk/whocareswinsappeal.

Grant Shapps echoed the same words last night, telling BBC Newsnight: "At the beginning of the week we only had 5,000 home tests available, we now have 20,000 available and it's the reason we are quite likely to get very close to or meet the 100,000 target."

Home testing kits have been flying this week, with ministers releasing nearly 15,000 a day direct to doorsteps.

A Government source also told the BBC they were "fairly confident" that testing numbers "will be where our projections forecasted them to be".

"But you can never take anything for granted," they added.

Testing is seen as being the first stage of a plan to end the lockdown.

More testing will be set up, followed by an extensive track and trace programme to target anyone who may have been in contact with the killer bug.

Boris Johnson tweeted this morning an appeal for Brits to stay on track and work together to beat the bug.

He said: "I can confirm that we are past the peak of this disease.

"We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope.

"And we have so many reasons to be hopeful for the long term.

"But we can only defeat coronavirus by our collective discipline and working together."

Britain is recruiting an army of tracers at the moment to form part of a huge ten, expected to be in the tens of thousands.

Chasing down people that new sufferers have mixed with to halt contagion chains has proved hugely successful in countries like South Korea and Germany.

But for track and trace to work, ministers believe the number who currently have the virus will need to be reduced to 100,000 first, The Sun can reveal.

At the moment, the estimated number is still running at 350,000, according to the King’s College London tracker.

Without the track and trace scheme in place, it is likely the Cabinet will decide the full lockdown will have to stay in place beyond the next review point on May 7.


 

Join our George Cross campaign for NHS staff

We are urging Sun readers to sign a petition calling for our NHS staff to be awarded the George Cross.

We are backing a proposal by Lord Ashcroft to honour our health heroes with the gallantry gong given for acts of bravery that did not take place in battle.

A No10 spokesman said: “The NHS is doing a fantastic job and the nation will want to find a way to say thank you when we have defeated this virus.” SAS hero Andy McNab added: “The award of a George Cross would show an emotional appreciation.”

We are asking our readers to please sign the petition below.

 

 

Source: Read Full Article