Covid passports: Matthew Wright hits out at lateral flow tests
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The Welsh Government has a surplus of the Lateral Flow Tests meaning they are able to top up England’s supply to 10 million. First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that Wales has enough Lateral Flow Tests for supply to withstand the loan to Westminster.
He said: “Wales has a significant stock of lateral flow tests, sufficient to meet our needs over the weeks ahead.”
However, in England there have been issues with the availability of PCR and Lateral flow as well as home delivery kits over the last four days.
There were no tests available on the Government website at 9am on Thursday and Pharmacies have also had issues with availability.
Throughout the day in England there were issues ordering Lateral Flow Tests.
There were also no home PCR tests or PCR testing centre slots available on the Government website for several hours.
While PCR testing appointments were available in Scotland and Wales they also temporarily ran out in Northern Ireland.
There has been a surge in demand following a rise in Covid 19 cases with a new record of the highest number of cases being set on Wednesday when a figure of 183,037 lab confirmed cases.
Increasing numbers of people are trying to follow Government guidance by testing before socialising.
In a letter to MPs health secretary Sajid Javid said that the supply of Lateral Flow tests will be increased in January and February from 100 million to 300 million.
He said: “To respond to anticipated demand over the coming few weeks we are buying hundreds of millions more LFD tests, bringing new products on board and accelerating their deployment to the public.”
A spokesman for the UK Health Security Agency announced on Wednesday that eight million lateral flow test kits would be available in pharmacies by New Year’s Eve.
He said: “We have made 100,000 more PCR booking slots available per day since mid-December and we are continuing to rapidly expand capacity – with over half a million tests carried out on 23 December alone and delivery capacity doubled to 900,000 PCR and LFD test kits a day.”
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Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting argued NHS staff should be prioritised for testing.
He said: “Shortages of tests and delays in getting results risks exacerbating the staffing pressures in the NHS and other critical national infrastructure.
“I’ve written to the Health Secretary urging him to make sure that they’re at the front of the queue.”
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