Government will meet 100,000 test target 'in the next few days'

30 April 2020, 08:19

The Minister said the Government might not reach the 100,000 tests per day pledge
The Minister said the Government might not reach the 100,000 tests per day pledge. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland acknowledged that the Government target of 100,000 coronavirus tests may not be met by the end of the month, but said it was important to be "bold," given the circumstances.

When LBC's Nick Ferrari pointed out Health Secretary Matt Hancock had pledged the country would meet the target of 100,000 tests for coronavirus by today, Mr Buckland said: "Even if we don't get there today, we're going to get there very soon."

Mr Buckland said it was "frustrating" not meeting the set target for Covid-19 testing.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock had previously told LBC the Government was on track to meet the goal of 100,000 tests a day, a point he reiterated on Tuesday morning during a phone-in with Nick Ferrari.

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Mr Buckland told LBC the Government have to be "bold about it" adding "rather than setting a mealy-mouthed target," he said the Government was being "deliberately challenging."

The Minister acknowledged that "there will be times when, perhaps, we don't get to the target on the date, but the direction of travel is the right one."

The Justice Minister said the Government were "ramping up" the number of tests every day.

Nick Ferrari pointed out the number of tests was down on Tuesday, and asked if Government setting targets that won't be hit will inspire confidence.

Mr Buckland said "the public will expect the Government to try and be bold about this."

He acknowledged there would be "moments of deep frustration and concern," because the Government "wanted to be ambitious."