Udayavni Special

Under-fire Johnson says UK will ‘massively increase testing’


PTI, Apr 2, 2020, 2:57 PM IST

London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain would “massively increase testing” amid a growing wave of criticism on Thursday about his government’s failure to provide widespread Covid-19 screening.

In a video message posted online on Wednesday night from Downing Street, where he has been in self-isolation since announcing on March 27 that he had contracted the virus, Johnson said testing was the “way through”.

“We’re also massively increasing testing. As I have said for weeks and weeks this (testing) is the way through,” Johnson said.

“This is how we will unlock the Covid-19 puzzle, this is how we will defeat it in the end.” He was reacting to condemnation of his government, especially in the media, after officials revealed that just 2,000 out of half-a-million staff in the state-run National Health Service (NHS) had been tested.

There have also been reports of staff being turned away from drive-in test centres because they did not have the correct paperwork, or others which were deserted because testing was by appointment only.

Figures published Wednesday showed a total of 2,352 people with COVID-19 have died in the UK, an increase of 563, the largest single-day rise.

Two of the deaths were medics. Testing for the general public has also been condemned as not being widespread enough.

On Tuesday, 10,000 hospital patients and NHS staff were tested in England, well below the daily target of 25,000 and the 70,000 a day achieved in Germany.

Various normally pro-government newspapers condemned the plans as “chaotic”, a “scandal” and a “shambles” as the backlash gathered pace.

Paul Nurse, chief executive of biomedical research centre the Francis Crick Institute, told the BBC Thursday that the government should summon “the Dunkirk spirit” and let ‘small ship’ labs start screening for the killer disease.

So far, Public Health England (PHE), the body tasked with testing, has insisted all screening should be carried out centrally.

PHE medical director Professor Paul Cosford defended his organization’s work.

“At the very outset we identified this, we got the tests in place, we designed the tests in our laboratories. We have played our part,” he told BBC radio.

Britain is currently in lockdown, with shops shut and the public asked to stay at home to try to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The government has promised an enormous package of support for businesses and employees hit by the measures, but is facing questions about how quickly the money is getting through.

New government figures show 950,000 people applied for state welfare support known as universal credit in the last fortnight.

It is available to the unemployed and those on low incomes. National plane carrier British Airways is expected to announce it will suspend 36,000 staff later on Thursday.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Covaxin Phase-3 trials begins in Karnataka

India avoid series whitewash with 13-run victory in 3rd ODI against Australia

Yogi allays fears on Film City impacting Mumbai film industry

Convene meeting of party legislators, chief whip tells BJP’s Karnataka chief

Twitter flags BJP social media head Amit Malviya’s tweet as ‘manipulated media’

M’luru boat tragedy: We’re with families of deceased, says Kota after announcing Rs 6 lakh compensation

SSR case: Court grants bail to Rhea Chakraborty’s brother



Related Articles More

China’s space ambitions: Robot on Mars, a human on the moon

Italy plans 202 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

UK becomes first country to approve Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine

Trump’s H-1B visa rules blocked by US judge

Saudi Arabia denies involvement in killing of Iran nuclear scientist

MUST WATCH

Meal of Bakasur : Hotel Fish Campus Udupi | Udayavani

Things You Should Know When Starting A Business | Profitable Business Ideas After Lockdown

Mangalore Boat tragedy: We’re with families of deceased, says Kota after announcing Rs 6 lakh compensation

Mangaluru boat tragedy: Body of another fisherman recovered

Mangaluru boat tragedy: Fishermen declare bandh until all missing fishermen found

Latest Additions

Etrio launches leasing plans for its electric 3-wheeler Touro

Navy played crucial role in preventing misadventure by Chinese in Indian Ocean during LoC standoff: Vice Admiral

Covaxin Phase-3 trials begins in Karnataka

China begins import of Indian rice after 2 yrs amid border tension; places orders for 5k tonnes

Congress first political party to encourage Ayodhya movement, says new book

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.