Over the last few weeks, Covid-19 is beginning to take its toll on the country again. There is a severe risk of people falling seriously ill and the NHS becoming overwhelmed. The lack of tests available could take the risk even further, with NHS staff being unable to go to work. NHS providers have stated that ‘staff are having to self-isolate because they cannot get tests for themselves or family members.’ This is a direct result of the lack of testing available, as anyone with symptoms must self-isolate. Having no test available will not give people the answer that they desire, and a direct result of this is having to stay off work.
In Wednesday’s PMQs, Boris Johnson admitted that the United Kingdom does not have enough tests, months after promising to increase the capacity. He then went on to blame the shortage on people seeking to book a test without ‘experiencing Coronavirus symptoms’. In these unprecedented times, blaming the public is not the answer, especially at a time where people were enjoying the Conservative governments ‘eat out to help out’ scheme (which would noticeably increase the transmission of the virus). It appears that yet again, the government are directing the blame elsewhere, rather than admitting an obvious error. The government website states that ‘Anyone with symptoms can get a coronavirus test, whatever their age’. With the symptoms list being rather long, this is not clear information. Therefore, blaming the public for choosing to get a test is ludicrous.
Overall, no one can give a true definitive answer on why there is a lack of tests available, however Boris Johnson has promised he would increase the testing capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October. Whether he will keep that promise is the real question.