"Never any evidence" that UK could test 100k a day for Covid-19, expert reports

24 April 2020, 17:26 | Updated: 24 April 2020, 17:28

By Seán Hickey

The UK's ability to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April was never proved by science, a biomedical scientist told LBC.

Eddie Mair was addressing the roll-out of testing for key workers and spoke to Allan Wilson, who is the president of the institute of biomedical sciences about the logistics behind the numbers.

Eddie reminded Mr Wilson that the "100,000 number is not a target for capacity it is for number of tests a day" as the target of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April looks less likely. He wanted to know the opinion of medical professionals at the statement.

"We never could see the evidence base for that" Mr Wilson insisted. He noted that there was little proof of the statements made by the government and that they "simply produced a number and how we were going to deliver that number".

Eddie asked the biomedical science expert where testing focuses have been put in the fight against coronavirus to which Mr Wilson noted that "a lot of testing has been going on in NHS laboratories" rather than the government's lighthouse centres.

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Mr Wilson told Eddie that rather than the lighthouse centres which are prioritising key workers who can make their way to the remote testing centre, for NHS testing the "first priority is people in hospital".

After finding out whether hospital patients are Covid positive, Mr Wilson noted that next in line in NHS testing is "NHS staff and families".

Critical of the lighthouse centre testing strategy, the expert claimed that the NHS laboratories are being overlooked for increasing testing capacity.

"We can deliver testing locally" NHS Lanarkshire's chief of Biomedical Sciences argued.