News that Coronavirus (Covid-19) testing is being rationed, includes stories of people in London being told to travel to Portsmouth and get on the ferry to the Isle of Wight in order to have a test, has been circulating this morning.
In order to cope with outbreaks elsewhere, areas with fewer Covid-19 cases have had their testing capacity reduced, say the Government.
However, concerns have been raised that the rationing of testing in some areas could mean that new spikes are missed.
Hancock: We need to get those outbreaks under control
Matt Hancock MP, the minister in charge of health, told BBC Radio 4 Today programme,
“We are putting testing in to areas in the country where there are outbreaks where there are much higher numbers of cases for obvious reasons that we need to get those outbreaks under control.”
A trip to the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight has been cited by several Londoners this morning, saying to the Government’s Test and Test Website reveals the Island as their “nearest” testing centre.
It’s considered unlikely that someone with Covid-19 symptoms would actually buy a ferry ticket and travel to the Isle of Wight in order to be tested, when home testing kits are available.
Asked if this was a problem or a policy, Hancock said
“The vast majority of people, wherever they are, are able to get a test close to them.
“There are occasionally, in any large system, operational challenges, but the mass testing proposal that we are putting £500m into is also our answer to this problem in the medium term.”
Tracing the issue
In a discussion on BBC, experts have said the important issue here is the tracing aspect of the Test and Trace Programme, with less than 80 per cent of cases and their contacts being reached each week.