Only 2,000 of the 500,000 NHS workers in England have been tested for the coronavirus, it emerged. The figure is much lower than what the Prime Minister had promised the government to do. BBC Today’s host Nick Robinson had a heated exchange with Public Health England medical director Paul Cosford on the matter, asking if the professor was “embarrassed” by the figures reported.
Professor Cosford replied, “I think everyone involved is frustrated that we have not yet reached the position we need to reach.
“It’s not bad at all, of course, from the start, we are testing anyone with clinical disease who needs to be tested.
“In order to get a diagnosis and get the right treatment for them when they got sick from the coronavirus. “
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He continued, “This is what my organization was particularly responsible for, Public Health England working with the NHS.
“We have accelerated this, we haven’t gone as far as we wanted, but we have up to almost 13,000 tests a day available yesterday. “
The Prime Minister last night tried to reassure people that he understood the need for this to change.
He spoke to people via video on his Twitter feed.
The professor clarified: “The test strategy has separate work components.
“One is the area in which we are most closely involved, namely the NHS tests, as I have just described.
“The second is how we can use all these laboratories, all this capacity to increase at least 100,000 tests per day, if all goes well.
“This work is underway, the Office of Life Sciences is closely associated with this work to progress.
“I would expect that to happen in the next few days. “