Robert Jenrick has said that Coronavirus tests will be ramped up to 25,000 per day by the middle of April with the aim of testing all NHS frontline staff first.
THE new test goes further than the current method which only diagnoses those who are currently infected with the disease.
Having this type of check could give people the ‘green light’ to come out of self-isolation or social distancing measures and help in the nationwide response to the pandemic.
It would especially allow NHS and other key public sector workers to get back to the frontline safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to catch the virus again.
Earlier related story
Ministers are under growing pressure to increase the rate of testing for coronavirus, as a 13-year-old boy became the first known child in the UK to die with the disease.
A 19-year-old with no existing medical issues has also died and the UK saw its biggest day-on-day rise in the number of deaths since the outbreak began – up 381 on 24 hours previously to a total of 1,789.
NHS staff have expressed frustration they are being forced to self-isolate just as they are most needed, because tests are not available to show whether they are clear of the disease.
The Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Medical Association all say testing of frontline staff is desperately needed.