Sat, 9 December 2023

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Seeking Safety for the Most Vulnerable – Escalating Action Against E-Bike Battery Fires Partner content
By Electrical Safety First
New report highlights how a holistic approach to pharmacy can transform healthcare delivery Partner content
Early diagnosis and timely treatment: Why both are key to improving cancer survival Partner content
London’s super sewer is nearly here – but we must keep making progress Partner content
By Andy Mitchell CBE, Tideway CEO
Press releases

UK to double coronavirus testing to 25,000 a day within a fortnight, Cabinet minister claims

Members of the NHS are tested for Covid-19 at a drive-through facility at IKEA Wembley.

2 min read

Britain will double the amount of coronavirus tests it is carrying out to 25,000 a day within two weeks, a Cabinet minister has claimed.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick made the prediction amid mounting criticism of the Government's attempts to ramp up testing across the country.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove claimed on Sunday that Downing Street had achieved its initial target of 10,000 tests a day, but that was found to be untrue.

Appearing on Sky News, Mr Jenrick said the UK now had the capacity to carry out 12,750 tests a day.

He said that would be increased to 15,000 "within days" and added: "That’s a significant increase but still not as far as we would like it to be, and mid-April is when we would expect to be at 25,000."

The minister also re-iterated Mr Gove's claim that a lack of necessary "reagents" was partly to blame for the Government's failure to carry out more tests - a claim denied by the Chemical Industries Association,

Mr Jenrick said: "The position is that you need a number of different ingredients to make an efficient test and we have some of the ingredients available in the UK but not all of them and so we need to bring together the right group of chemicals and other materials to produce the test.

"We are trying to do that, the industry is doing a fantastic job, but this is a huge effort. We’re importing material from overseas, but there’s extremely high demand internationally.

"We have some of the ingredients but not all of them. But the good news is that production is now increasing.

"We had 8,240 people tested on Monday. We have capacity to test about 12,700 people and so we’re going to use that spare capacity to start testing NHS workers."



PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe


Coronavirus Health
Partner content
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.

Find out more