UK government promises more virus testing as criticism grows
LONDON: He said Wednesday that he will soon begin screening 25,000 people daily for Covid-19 as review The government grew with a low number of tests compared to other countries.
The Housing Minister told Sky TV that he was aiming for 25,000 tests a day by mid-April, after the latest figures revealed that the death toll in the UK was nearly 1,800.
The victims included a 13-year-old boy, considered the youngest victim in the country.
We believe that in a few days we will be able to go from our current capacity, as I say, from 12,750 to 15,000, Jenrick said.
And mid-April is when we hope to be at 25,000, he added.
Ministers have been put on the back foot as review over the lack of testing grows.
The lack of evidence for front-line health personnel and the general public has been increasingly condemned. Even the media normally loyal to the ruling have written about a massive test of confusion.
Britain has so far conducted more than 143,000 tests compared to Germany, which is evaluating 70,000 people per day. As of March 30, there have been 455 deaths in Germany. Some 25,150 people have tested positive for the virus in Britain, including the Prime Minister. Boris Johnson and Health Minister Matt Hancock.
Jenrick acknowledged that the UK had to increase the number of tests significantly, but blamed the shortage of kits due to the global pandemic.
Another senior minister, Michael Gove , has also blamed the lack of necessary chemical reagents for the test kits, a claim contradicted by those representing the UK chemical industry.
Meanwhile, the family of the 13-year-old boy, Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, from south London, said in a statement that they were more than devastated by his death.
The boy, who died Monday at King's College Hospital in London, had no underlying diseases.
The latest figures from the UK Ministry of Health show that a total of 1,789 people have died, although data published by the National Statistics Office (ONS) and Wales suggested that the actual figure could be 24 per cent higher.
Government figures only cover those who have been taken to the hospital and tested for the virus, while the ONS data are for deaths in the community where Covid-19 is suspected.
Jenrick added that the country should prepare for new bad news.
The numbers are likely to worsen in the coming days before they improve, he said.