MATT Hancock hit their coronavirus test target with 122.347 done within 24 hours until the end of April, new figures reveal.
A huge ramp-up over the past day has meant that 40,000 additional tests have been performed, according to government data.
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He told the nation at briefing No10: ” At the start of last month, I set myself the goal of getting everyone who needs a test done.
“As a nation, we should reach 100,000 a day by the end of the month.
“I knew it was a bold goal, but we needed a bold goal because testing is so important.
“I can report that we have reached our goal.
“This unprecedented expansion of British testing capacity is an incredible achievement. “
Health Secretary Hancock set the ambitious target earlier this month as part of a promise to increase the number of tests underway.
It has expanded the criteria, which means that 25 million NHS staff, key workers and others who have to leave home to go to work can now be tested.
Boris Johnson revealed yesterday that the country was 20,000 below target and had tested 81,000 the day before last before the target was reached.
The housing secretary said, “I think we will meet him or be very close.”
“In this sense, the objective will have succeeded because it will have galvanized people across the government, in the private sector and across the country to build the network that we needed, which is the basis of testing, monitoring and tracing, which we need in the next phase of fighting the virus. “
He added, “This in itself is just a stepping stone.
“We have to go beyond 100,000, but we have now seen a very substantial increase in testing in a very short time.
“In this sense, it was a success. But there is still a lot more to do. “
Critics, however, pointed out that the test figure did not include the total number of tests that had been done, but included thousands of home test kits that had come out in the mail.
Some of them may not have occurred or the results have not yet been returned.
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Grant Shapps echoed the same words last night, saying to BBC Newsnight: “At the start of the week, we only had 5,000 home tests available, we now have 20,000 available and that’s why which we are very likely to approach the 100,000 target. “
Home test kits flew this week, with ministers releasing nearly 15,000 a day straight out the door.
A government source also told the BBC that it was “fairly confident” that the test numbers “will be where our forecasts predicted.”
“But you can never take anything for granted,” they added.
Testing is considered the first step in a plan to end the lockout.
Other tests will be implemented, followed by an extensive follow-up and monitoring program to target anyone who may have been in contact with the killer bug.
Boris Johnson tweeted this morning a call to keep the British on track and work together to overcome the bug.
He said, “I can confirm that we have passed the peak of this disease.
“We have passed the summit and we are on the downhill slope.
“And we have so much reason to hope for the long term.
“But we can only defeat the coronavirus by our collective discipline and by working together. “
Britain is currently recruiting an army of tracers to be part of a huge tens, which is expected to number in the tens of thousands.
Chasing people with whom new victims have mingled to end the chains of contagion has proven to be a huge success in countries like South Korea and Germany.
But for tracking and traceability to work, ministers believe the number of people currently infected with the virus will first need to be reduced to 100,000, The Sun may reveal.
At present, the estimated number is still running at 350,000, according to the tracker at King’s College London.
Without the tracking and tracing system in place, it is likely that Cabinet will decide that the full lock should remain in place beyond the next examination point on May 7.
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