LONDON – Testing regime faces demand crisis

UK Health Minister Matt Hancock is under pressure to resolve a growing problem of public demand for COVID-19 testing, outstripping the capacity to deliver the tests. Hancock told lawmakers on Tuesday that the testing service faced “operational challenges” which would take “a matter of weeks” to fix.

The government says that around 220,000 tests are being processed daily, with a testing capacity of more than 350,000 – including swab tests and antibody tests – and which the government says it wants to increase to 500,000 a day by the end of October.

However, test slots have been limited due to bottlenecks in lab processing of results from swab tests, leading to many people being offered tests hundreds of miles away from their home.

More than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the UK on Tuesday (15 September) as the country sees a significant increase in infections. (Benjamin Fox |

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