The government is under pressure from the opposition and others to explain how it will meet its target of Covid-19 testing by the end of April.
The government has also come under fire in recent days after it was revealed that only 2,000 front line NHS staff out of some half a million have so far been tested.
Currently the UK’s capacity for testing stands at 6,500 a day, however, health secretary Matt Hancock has said he wants 100,000 tests to be carried out daily by the end of the month.
But Labour has said there are currently no details on how this can be achieved.
Yesterday, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: “Public health experts, NHS staff and the @WHO are saying we need to test more and contact trace. It’s time for a National Testing Strategy otherwise ministers must explain how they expect to avoid cycles of lockdown”.
And Labour leader hopeful, Sir Keir Starmer has said: “Ministers have consistently failed to explain why we are miles behind where we need to be on testing for coronavirus. We need answers and we need solutions – and we need them now.”
There are now a reported 33,700 cases of Covid-19 in the UK and as of yesterday, the death toll stands at 2,921. This will rise in the coming days and the British Medical Association has warned doctors that as the pandemic spreads, they will face “agonising choices” over who gets potentially life-saving treatments and warning that despite “heroic efforts” to boost capacity, the NHS may be overwhelmed.
Guidelines say it is legal and ethical to prioritise treatment among patients and this can apply where there are more patients with needs than there are resources available.