Boris Johnson has missed his goal of delivering all of the Covid-19 test results within 24 hours by the end of June, despite scientists insisting that speed is essential in fighting the spread of the disease.
The Prime Minister promised that his government would cancel all tests, except those sent by post during the day, as it was under pressure on the performance of the NHS test and follow-up program.
Responding to questions from MPs on June 3, Johnson said 90% of the tests were returned within 48 hours and that he was committed to ensuring that all tests were returned within 24 hours. the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insurmountable problems like this one. .
The political bulletin cut the noise
But the government has not provided data on the number of tests returned within 24 hours of the promise. When asked if the goal had been reached, the MP spokesperson replied: We said it was something we wanted to achieve by the end of the month and we spoke with the department Health and Social Services how we can make this data available.
We have been working to reverse these test results as quickly as possible, but I don’t have those numbers for you.
Former Secretary of Health Jeremy Hunt denounced the ministers’ refusal to produce figures on the proportion of tests returned, and warned that it was undermining confidence in the testing and screening program.
Mr. Hunt has already spoken of 48 golden hours during which test results must be returned and contacts of an infected person must be reached so that NHS contact tracers have a chance to stop a new outbreak of the disease. .
The chair of the House of Commons health committee said last month that without published data on the proportion of tests returned in 24 hours, it would be difficult to feel confident that things are going as planned.
Scientists have warned that contact testing and tracing must take place within two days of a person’s symptoms appearing for the test and tracing to be effective.
Professor Christophe Fraser of the University of Oxford said: If you have a delay of two days beyond that, you lose about a third of your potential for contact tracing, another two days you lose another third and if you wait six days, you perform a contact search after all transmissions have taken place.
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