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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Britain hits testing target as death toll leaps again

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Britain hits testing target as death toll leaps again
Britain hits testing target as death toll leaps again

The British government says it has hit its target of carrying out 100,000 COVID-19 tests a day, stressing the program was crucial to helping ease a national lockdown.

Edward Baran reports.

The British government says it's hit its coronavirus testing target.

Official figures show a little over 122,000 tests were conducted on Thursday (April 30), surpassing the goal of 100,000 tests by the end of April.

Health minister Matt Hancock set the target after facing criticism that the government was moving too slowly.

Since then the government has increased the number of drive-through test sites and rapidly expanded the number of people eligible to apply.

But the opposition Labour party is skeptical of the milestone.

It's accused Hancock of manipulating data by including tests that might not have been used.

The testing program's co-ordinator, John Newton, has said home testing and some other testing kits were being included in the number of tests completed at the point they were sent out, not when they were analyzed.

These accounted for around 40,000 of the latest total.

Hancock also announced the British death toll had risen to 27,510 deaths, just below that of Italy.

The UK is one of the worst-hit European states.


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