Minuscule testing for NHS staff as Tories continue to squander capacity on patients in ICU, contrary to expert advice
The government has boasted that it has now tested ‘over 2000’ NHS staff for the coronavirus – just 0.15% of NHS workers.
99.85% of staff have not been tested – and Tory minister Robert Jenrick made it clear this morning that the UK’s capacity is being used to test ‘critically ill patients’:
Medical experts say tests of hospitalised patients are a waste of capacity – critically-ill patients can be seen to have the virus from the symptoms they are manifesting and need to be treated accordingly – and say that capacity should be focused on ‘well’ staff.
An Italian study has shown that 50-75% of people spreading the virus at any given time have no symptoms, making ‘well’ staff a key vector for infection, especially when they still have little effective personal protective equipment – yet the government is boasting about its minuscule level of staff testing, while directing most of what its unpreparedness has made available in the wrong area.
Last month, Boris Johnson said the UK would ‘rapidly’ have capacity for 250,000 coronavirus tests a day. That was downgraded this week to 25,000 a day – and only hopefully by the end of April.
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