"We didn't get to the source fast enough": virologist on why UK testing is lower than Germany

1 April 2020, 19:55 | Updated: 1 April 2020, 20:08

Virologist explains why UK is behind other countries on mass testing

By Fiona Jones

This virologist explained to Nigel Farage why UK mass testing is lower than countries like Germany.

Nigel cited that 25% of NHS frontline staff are at home and was in disbelief that the UK have only tested 2000 workers.

"We had all these assurances that we were ready, that we were capable, how is it that Germany is in such a better place to test people, including key workers?" asked Nigel.

Virologist Dr Derek said likened the global chemical supply to empty supermarket shelves; with any other procurement problem, "you're relying on your supplier having the material and quantity you're led to expect in the past."

"We didn't get to the source fast enough," the doctor said.

"These things, particular equipment, materials that are needed for the production of the testing kit are going to the highest bidder and a lot of the time they've already been bought."

However Dr Derek Gatherer did say he's not convinced mass testing is the answer in this coronavirus pandemic.

He said what is important is that frontline workers are tested for clarification on whether they can keep the NHS wheels turning.

Dr Derek said mass testing against other countries is a "pointless competition" and our focus needs to be on lowering the death toll and instead "we need to concentrate our testing efforts on what's happening in the frontline."