Labour demands MORE coronavirus tests for 'battling' NHS staff

Labour demands MORE coronavirus tests for NHS staff ‘battling to protect us’ as celebrities buy £375 private checks amid a shortage of testing for the public

  • shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said healthcare staff need more testing
  • UK testing more people than the majority of other states with coronavirus
  • But it is still far below the number being tested by nations like South Korea
  • One private clinic is hawking tests to the public for £375 per person 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The Government was facing vocal demands to drastically upscale coronavirus testing for NHS staff today amid fears they are being left at high risk by a lack of equipment.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said that healthcare staff ‘battling to protect us’ from the panic were being exposed by a shortage of testing kits and a lack of protective equipment.

It came after the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance admitted there needed to be a ‘bid increasing in testing from the current 4,000 per day across the country. 

The Government has been at pains to say that it is testing more people than the majority of other states with coronavirus. But it is still far below the number being tested by nations like South Korea. 

Last night men carrying a box from ThermoFisher – which makes coronavirus tests that give results in four hours – were pictured in Downing Street.

Mr Ashworth said: ‘Our NHS staff are battling to protect us, government must protect them: From goggles, gowns, gloves, masks and thermometers we need adequate PPE for all staff across secondary & primary care. 

‘Testing must be scaled up urgently for staff.’ 

Meanwhile, celebrities and big businesses have begun paying out for a £375-a-time home-testing kit being sold by a private clinic, according to the Telegraph.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said that healthcare staff ‘battling to protect us’ from the panic were being exposed by a shortage of testing kits and a lack of protective equipment’

PrivateHarleyStreetClinic.com says it can get a test to your home within 48 hours, in exchange for £375

PrivateHarleyStreetClinic.com says it can get a test to your home within 48 hours, boasting:  At present, the NHS is only offering testing for Coronavirus to hospitalised patients. 

‘We have been inundated with requests to provide a private test. 

‘We can now confirm we are able to offer paid tests, via a postal courier service on a maximum 3 day turnaround service to private individuals and organisations.

‘Most importantly, this is the only test in the world that can identify the lethal Covid-19 virus and differentiate between 9 other non lethal viruses with the same symptoms.’

Mr Ashworth added: ‘This is a national effort and all of us must pull together. 

‘We have to urgently ramp up testing especially for our NHS staff. 

‘If this Harley Street clinic has testing capacity then government needs to get hold of it for NHS staff.’

Around 86 per cent of coronavirus patients go undetected because their symptoms are so mild, a study warned last night. 

Scientists at Columbia University in New York analysed the spread of the infection in China, before the outbreak spiralled out of control. 

The researchers found the thousands of undocumented infections drove the spread of the crisis, which saw most of China locked down.

It comes after Sir Patrick suggested around 70,000 Britons – or roughly one in every 1,000 out of the 68million population – could unknowingly be infected with the virus.

He claimed for every death in Britain – 71 have been announced so far – there is likely to be 1,000 positive cases. 

 Addressing MPs yesterday he said the UK needed ‘a big increase in testing’ because 4,000 a day was ‘clearly not going to be enough’. 

 ‘We simply don’t have the mass testing available for the population now,’ he told the Health Select Committee.

‘There is a big effort going on to get that in place as quickly as possible.’

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