‘It’s not enough’: Jeremy Corbyn and top medics blast the Government over lack of coronavirus tests for hardworking NHS staff and the public as the number of confirmed cases continues to grow across Britain
- Jeremy Corbyn and senior medical leaders tore into Boris Johnson’s response
- A minister said there were 8,000 tests a day and production would double within the next fortnight
- Corbyn said: ‘We are doing an increasing amount … but it’s still not enough’
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The Government was facing mounting pressure over the slow increase in testing people for coronavirus today.
Jeremy Corbyn and senior medical leaders tore into Boris Johnson’s response as a senior ministers said they were now doing 8,000 tests a day and production would double within the next fortnight.
It came after the World Health Organisation told nations to ‘test, test, test’ in order to wrestle control of the pandemic.
The UK has been criticised for the slow roll-out of testing, although it has performed more than the majority of other countries, focusing on those being admitted to hospital with symptoms.
Speaking on Sky’s Ridge on Sunday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: ‘We are doing an increasing amount of testing but it’s still not enough.
‘Even all NHS haven’t been tested, never mind all care staff haven’t been tested yet and so how can we accurately know how many cases of coronavirus there actually are?
Jeremy Corbyn and senior medical leaders tore into Boris Johnson’s response as a senior ministers said they were now doing 8,000 tests a day and production would double within the next fortnight
‘What we do know, sadly accurately, is the number of deaths from coronavirus at the moment but we have to be better at testing and provisioning protective equipment.
‘NHS staff have not all got full protective equipment at the moment or protective clothing, care staff have almost none at all and care workers, some of whom work in care homes, are obviously at risk but even more at risk are the care workers who are going from house to house of their clients and clearly are in danger of either contracting or spreading the virus.’
Last week Boris Johnson announced testing would be ramped up to 25,000 a day after coming under scathing criticism for letting thousands go undiagnosed.
Only 5,000 people were being swabbed daily for COVID-19 previously.
By comparison, South Korea has been testing 15,000 patients every day despite having a population of 50million compared to Britain’s 66million.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick was grilled on the issue as he appeared on television for the Government this morning.
‘We are trying to get more tests. I completely take your point that we need to go further and faster, and production is due to double next week and continue to ramp up thereafter,’ he said.
It came as a senior medic warned that doctors and nurses risking their lives every day to treat coronavirus patients feel like ‘cannon fodder’ because of a lack of protective equipment and testing kits.
Doctors’ Association chairman Dr Rinesh Parmar made a direct appeal to Boris Johnson today as he urged him to divert more resources to hospital staff fighting to hold back a flood of cases and save lives.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Programme he said NHS staff dealing with the coronavirus outbreak are still not getting the protective equipment they need.
‘We have had doctors tell us they feel like lambs to the slaughter, that they feel like cannon fodder. GPs tell us that they feel absolutely abandoned,’ he said.
‘We are all pleading with Boris Johnson that they really look into arranging the vital personal protection equipment that all of us need on the NHS frontline.
Mr Jenrick added: ‘By this afternoon, every hospital in the country will have the next set of supplies of PPE.
‘We’ve also delivered them to pharmacists and the GP surgeries. This coming week supplies will be delivered to all social care providers.
‘We are manufacturing and importing very large quantities now. In recent days we’ve received almost three million face masks for example.
‘PPE will get to the frontline as soon as possible.’
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