31 Mar 2020

UK death toll rises by 381 – as government faces pressure over testing

Health and Social Care Editor

“Test, test, test”. That was the World Health Organization advice. But although the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England at one point today said they were up to testing 12,700 people – in fact, the official figures say it was 8,240.

That still falls far behind testing in other countries and way short of our own 25,000-a-day target. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said testing is being constrained by the supply of chemical reagents and that we need to go “further, faster”.

Testing is crucial to understand the spread of the infection and to establish who has had it, particularly among frontline NHS staff, so they can carry on working.