Staff conducting coronavirus tests have been ordered to stop early on certain days because the labs cannot handle the workload, says an informant.
They are told to limit the number of samples taken to 250, despite the urgent request to monitor front-line workers. And they reach that limit around 2 or 3 p.m., depending on the insider.
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Many tests need to be sent to Northern Ireland for analysis – some even going by ferry.
The auto service center insider in Greenwich, south-east London, said: “There are 20 to 30 of us working here at one time. We are all incredibly frustrated that sometimes we don’t do anything.
“Several days in the past week, we were told to limit the maximum number of 250 tests per day. But we could double that.
“We were told to stop doing it because the capacity of the laboratories where our samples are sent is insufficient.
“IT LOOKS CRAZY”
“It sounds crazy. The government has promised to do 100,000 tests a day, but we are prevented from doing more than we could do.
“We are so eager to do more testing, but some days we arrive around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon and have to stop. “
The Greenwich tests are manufactured by Randox.
The swabs are then sent 500 miles by Royal Mail by ferry or air to the company’s laboratories in Co Antrim.
Samples from other sites in London are said to have been analyzed more than 400 miles away in Glasgow.
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Lib Dem Health spokeswoman Munira Wilson said last night about the whistleblower, “This is further evidence that the government should have been better prepared.” It is simply ridiculous that a London test center is not operating at full capacity and that the tests are potentially delayed as they are sent to Belfast.
“This is symptomatic of the Government’s slow and chaotic response.
“The public deserves answers, including why the tests in the UK are so low compared to some countries.
“These revelations strengthen the case for an independent investigation, once we get through this crisis, to formally examine the actions of the government.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it would be difficult to reach his goal of 100,000 tests a day by Thursday.
Shortly after fixing it, images appeared across the country of nearly empty test centers, including stadium locations in Twickenham, Coventry and Brighton.
To make matters worse, until last week, key workers who wanted to take a test had to speak to their employer.
They then organized the test through crisis planning organizations called local resilience forums – created in 2004 to help coordinate responses to emergencies such as pandemics, floods and terrorism.
The government has published a list of forums, but there is no mention of Covid-19 on many forum web pages.
And last week, it emerged that Deloitte consultants – who played a key role in setting up drive-thru service centers – were criticized after test results from NHS staff were lost or sent to the wrong people. people.
Frontline NHS staff with symptoms were first tested at the end of last month, followed by other health workers, including general practitioners and paramedics.
Those who tested negative were allowed to return to work.
Last week, the program was expanded to allow all key workers who suspect that they or their families may be tested for Covid-19. Under the new system, employers and staff can directly request an online test.
Downing Street has admitted, however, that there is no way to verify whether test takers are actually eligible.
Long queues accumulated yesterday at some driving sites after 46,000 people tried to book tests.
Home test kits became unavailable yesterday, with 5,000 allocated in two minutes.
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Dr. Simon Eccles, head of clinical information at NHS Digital, tweeted: “The home kits are all booked before 8:15 am!
“I know this is frustrating, but we are developing more laboratory, supply and logistics capabilities every day.
“If we had waited 100 km to launch, no one would have had a test today.
“Even more home kits tomorrow, even more next week. “
Figures from the Ministry of Health showed that there were 28,760 daily tests carried out for the coronavirus on 23,115 people. However, the numbers only go back to 9 a.m. on Friday, so don’t cover the new regime. The full impact of the new system should take a few days to be filtered.
The network of 30 drive-thru service centers will soon increase to 48 and the so-called Lighthouse Labs will begin work in Milton Keynes, Glasgow and Alderley Park in Cheshire.
A force of 18,000 men to find the contacts of infected people is also being trained.
A health ministry spokesperson said, “Test sites across the country have capacity for hundreds of tests per day and the North Greenwich site has exceeded 250 tests per day more than once this week. . “
ARMY SWABS KEY WORKERS
Mobile test platforms managed by ARMY will be deployed early next month to allow more front-line workers to return to work.
The 96 stations will be set up in nursing homes, police stations, prisons, welfare centers and fire stations.
Currently in Salisbury, Southport and Teesside, their installation takes only 20 minutes and can do hundreds of tests per day. Results take 48 hours.
Test Minister Lord Bethell said, “Anyone who needs a coronavirus test should be able to access it.
“We now have the capacity to provide more people with the certainty they need to return to the front line when it is safe.”
All passengers arriving in the UK face a 14-day quarantine in phase two lockout phase
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The Royal Mail said the transportation tests were done after consultation with chief physician Chris Whitty.
He added: “All of the Royal Mail Group’s networks are used to return test kits to Northern Ireland, either by ferry or by plane.
“Test kits are securely packaged for proper classification. The health of our colleagues is our first priority. “
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