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Coronavirus: Health minister insists UK 'on target' for 100,000 tests a day by end of month despite drop in number taking place

A coronavirus test is carried out on an NHS worker (PA)

2 min read

A health minister has insisted the Government is "on target" to hit 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of the month - despite a fall in the number taking place.

Edward Argar said ministers were working "flat out" to achieve the aim set out by Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week.

The most up-to-date testing figures, released on Tuesday, showed that 14,003 had taken place in the previous 24 hours.

But that was down on the 16,000 Downing Street had announced the day before.

Despite those statistics, Mr Argar told Radio Four's Today programme: "The Government’s been very clear that we’ll get to 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month.

"We are seeing rapid increases. I think the latest figures I saw were around 14,000 tests a day, that’s significantly up where it was even a few days ago, so I think we are firmly on target for that.

"My boss, Matt Hancock the Health Secretary, is determined that we are going to meet that target.

"He knows how important it is, he’s committed to it, as does the whole government.

"We are working flat out to make sure we meet that target."

Mr Argar's comments came after Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, admitted that Germany - which is testing 500,000 people a week - had left the UK behind in its response to the pandemic.

He said: "We all know that Germany got ahead in terms of its ability to do testing for the virus, and there’s a lot to learn from that."

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