U.K. Significantly Pares Year-End Covid-19 Daily Test Target: FT

The U.K. government has significantly pared its year-end coronavirus testing target to around one million a day from nearly two million, the Financial Times reported.

The government had planned to increase testing to about 1.9 million by end-December from 500,000 daily tests in October, the paper said, citing NHS Test and Trace documents it saw.

However, the effort has been hampered by the slower-than-expected roll-out of new tests due to delays in the process for validating new technology, two unidentified people familiar with the matter told the FT.

The country’s health department told the newspaper that a previous year-end target to test 1.9 million people daily was outdated. The department also denied that it had set a new goal of one million tests a day but did not elaborate on what its current target was, according to the report.

As the country races to contain the pandemic, the government had earlier asked health officials to deploy 30-minute saliva test kits in an effort to test as much as 10% of England’s population every week.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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