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Labour's Dawn Butler calls for more testing after uncle dies of hospital-acquired coronavirus infection

Dawn Butler said she was "angry" at the lack of testing

2 min read

Labour's Dawn Butler has called for a massive increase in coronavirus testing after her uncle died after contracting the disease in hospital.

The deputy leadership candidate said she was "angry" at ministers for failing to test frontline healthcare workers after her uncle caught the illness while being treated for a fall.

It comes as Boris Johnson admitted the Government must "massively ramp up" its capacity to check for coronavirus after official figures showed just 2,000 NHS staff in England had so far been tested.

The Brent MP said: "My uncle had a fall he didn't have Covid-19. He caught it in hospital and has now sadly died from Covid-19.

"Just a few weeks ago we buried his only son. We are devastated as a family but I'm also angry.

"Government needs to test everyone who works in the hospitals without delay!"

On Wednesday, the UK saw its largest daily increase in fatalities, with 563 people dying from the illness, taking the total to 2,352.

But ministers have attempted to shift blame from their strategy by claiming a worldwide shortage of chemical reagents - a crucial element of the tests - was stunting their ability to rollout mass checks.

Meanwhile, a new Ipsos MORI poll found over half (56%) of people believed the Government had been too slow in enforcing a lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Only 35% of respondents believed ministers had made the decision at the right time, while 4% thought the measures had come too soon.

The study also found that 44% of Conservative voters believed the Government had dragged its feet on bringing in the rules, alongside 69% among Labour voters.

The result showed that 79% of the public were now avoiding leaving the house, while 82% were now washing their hands more often in a bid to prevent the spread of the disease.

Commenting on the poll, Kelly Beaver, MD of Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI, said: "It is very encouraging to see that 4 in 5 people are now avoiding leaving their home following the Government's enforcement of this last week.

"While the majority of people feel it came too late, the impact it has had on people's behaviour is critical at a time when we all need to be doing our part."

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Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

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