It will take a “week issue” to resolve issues surrounding coronavirus testing, said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He told MPs there had been a “sharp rise” in those seeking a trial, “including those who are not legal”.
Tests should be a priority for those most in need, including those in care homes, he said.
But health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said no tests were available on the virus’ “hot spots” over the weekend.
This comes after widespread reports of people trying to get tested, with hospital bosses warning that the lack of tests for NHS workers was putting services at risk.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hancock said there were “operational challenges” with testing which the government was “working hard” to fix.
He said throughout the pandemic they had the advantage of testing as needed.
“I do not depart from prioritization decisions,” Mr Hancock said.
“The main priority is and always has been acute clinical care. The other priority is social care, where we are now sending over 100,000 tests a day because we have all seen the risks posed by this virus in care homes.”
Conservative Health and Social Welfare Committee Chairman Jeremy Hunt was among lawmakers to ask Hancock about the test, saying a number of his constituents had to travel for tests, while another key worker had to wait a week for the results. her.
“I think we will be able to solve this problem within a few weeks,” he replied. Hancock.
“So we are managing to deliver record capacity, but as he knows the demand is also high and the answer to that is to make sure we have priority so that the people who need it most get the tests they need.”
Downing Street acknowledged the “substantial demand” for coronavirus tests but said “capacity is the highest it has ever been”.
But Labor health secretary mr. Ashworth said Mr Hancock was “losing control of this virus”.
“When schools reopen and people return to workplaces and social distancing becomes more difficult, infections increase,” he said.
“So the extra demand for the system was inevitable, why didn’t he use wine to significantly expand the capacity of the NHS lab and regulate contact tracking?”
Responding, Mr Hancock said: “I do not deny that it is a big challenge and when you have a free service it is inevitable that demand will increase.
“The challenge is to make sure that the tests we have as a nation give priority to those who need it most.”
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