Preston MP Mark Hendrick said covid testing ‘a disgrace’ after community test centres in the city were forced to close early for two consecutive days.Advertisement
Residents in the city queued for up to three hours to access tests at the community testing sites at the Market and Moor Park Avenue after the NHS booking system showed there were no tests available to book in the city.
Mr Hendrick warned the test centres may run out of tests within the next two days due to a shortage of stock.
Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the public to only seek testing if they had symptoms of coronavirus.
Preston has been under additional restrictions for six weeks in a bid to try to control the rising infection rate.
But this week, as youngsters returned to the classroom, the rate of infection rose over 100 per 100,000.
Many youngsters have been sent home from school after pupils within their year group bubbles tested positive for coronavirus.
Hundreds of people are unable to return to work or school until they can confirm they are clear of the virus.
Mr Hendrick said: “‘The test and trace system in the UK is wholly inadequate and the turnaround time for getting results is exceptionally high. The government should be making more tests available for areas like Preston, which is an area of intervention.
“Worryingly, I am told that we currently only have two days’ worth of stock for covid testing and that we may need to stop our community testing.
“It was only a few weeks ago when we were all being encouraged to get tested without any symptoms by the government.
“Now the government have u-turned and only those with symptoms should obtain a test but we are even desperately ill prepared for that and the system can’t cope.
“So many people in Preston and throughout Lancashire are unable to work or go to school because they can’t get their hands on a test. It’s a disgrace.
“I am aware that there are care homes left without test results for days and also that our hospital staff and essential workers can’t obtain tests, which means that staff are having to self-isolate which is now putting extra strain on essential services.
“What we urgently need is a fully resourced and localised test and trace system across Lancashire.
“Testing is a shambles and Matt Hancock must set out a plan to fix this mess today. We don’t have time to spare.”
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