Health Secretary Matt Hancock called on the pharmaceutical giants to develop new solutions for testing coronaviruses as part of the fight to increase diagnostic capabilities.
The government is facing increasing pressure to increase the Covid-19 test rate while the UK is far behind other countries like Germany, South Korea and Australia.
Currently, around 8,000 tests a day are carried out and the government has admitted only 2,000 of the half million NHS workers on the frontline so far.
Hancock said he used a virtual meeting with suppliers on Wednesday to launch a new challenge for the industry to develop innovative solutions to overcome some of the main barriers to increasing capacity.
The Secretary of Health, who tested positive for the virus, said, “Testing is a crucial part of our battle plan against coronaviruses, and we are working around the clock to increase our national testing capacity.
“I am determined that we must meet this challenge as a country. “
“So I brought together our pharmaceutical giants and our test specialists to ask them to develop a diagnostic capacity never seen before in this country.
“It is a huge task, but they know they have the full support of this government as we work toward this common goal in the national interest, as part of our national efforts to fight coronaviruses.
“Many companies are already working urgently to help us in this area and I am delighted that so many others are looking to meet this challenge. “
According to the Ministry of Health, the focus was on providing large-scale national virus and immunity tests to help key workers and community members find out if they have or have had the virus.
Boris Johnson previously shared a self-isolating video message saying that the UK will “clear the coronavirus puzzle” through “accelerated testing.”
The Prime Minister videotaped the update to number 10, where he spent the last five days in self-isolation after contracting Covid-19.
Speaking to the audience, Johnson said Wednesday was “a sad, sad day” after the death toll in the UK rose by 563.
“Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and all their friends,” he said, acknowledging that this was the largest daily increase in deaths in the country to date.
But he continued: “Let us be sure that if we can follow the agenda we are currently on – if we can stick to the steps we have taken together – then I have absolutely no doubt that we will start pushing these numbers towards the bottom.
“And we will reverse the coronavirus trend in the weeks and months to come.”
He went on to explain in detail how the government “looks after our incredible NHS staff” – including shipping 397 million pieces of personal protective equipment in the past two weeks.
And he stressed that “accelerated testing” remains the key to “unlocking the coronavirus puzzle”.
“This is how we are going to defeat him in the end,” he said.
“Of course, it is crucial that people with the disease can be tested positive and take the necessary measures to isolate themselves at home as I do and that many others do too,” he added. . .
Mr. Johnson ended his message on a note of optimism, saying: “Although I am confined here in number 10 Downing Street, I am, thanks to the miracles of modern technology, able to be in touch constant with my officials – with everyone in different departments throughout Whitehall who coordinates the response to the coronavirus.
“And I’m absolutely confident that we will beat him, and we will beat him together, and we will do it by staying at home, protecting our NHS and saving lives.” “