NHS England’s medical director, Professor Stephen Powis has said the NHS could start testing “hundreds of thousands of people per day” for coronavirus.
Professor Powis told LBC that coronavirus testing is being expanded and within days there will be more testing for NHS workers.
He said, “We want to get hundreds of thousands of tests ramped up in the next few weeks per day.”
When LBC asked to the Professor to clarify whether he really meant hundreds of thousands of tests per day, he said, “That’s what we are aiming for. That is what we want to ramp up to but, remember this is a new virus and we’re starting from scratch.
“The kits which are required to do this testing are being manufactured as we speak. We are getting those into the country, we are ramping it up.
“I am talking of hundreds of thousands of tests.
“All of this is ramping up and increasing as we speak but, yes, you heard me correctly, we need to get to hundreds of thousands of tests a day, and we will do that over the course of the next few weeks and we will be making tests available to NHS staff within the next few days.”
Within a month the NHS are expecting to undertake 25,000 tests per day, and capacity will then be ramped up towards around 250,000 test per day, according to the Department of Health.
The coronavirus tests will be able to detect those who have already had the virus and will provide accurate estimates as to how many people across the country are infected and will be able to record the current spread rate.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that 3.5m antibody testing kits have been bought by the government.
According to Oxford medical researchers, coronavirus may have already been in the UK since January with almost half the population already infected.
New modelling by the Oxford researchers suggests coronavirus had spread across the UK by mid-January, which could indicate most people, potentially have possibly been exposed, and could now have gained immunity against the virus.
Dr Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology said, “We need immediately to begin large-scale serological surveys, antibody testing to assess what stage of the epidemic we are in now.”
The government’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty has said coronavirus can “theoretically mutate” and could “become even more dangerous.”
Speaking at a press conference in London Dr Whitty said, “With the strong caveat this is speculative science, we would expect the virus to mutate because all viruses do mutate.
“The question is whether those mutations are relevant.”
Professor Francois Balloux, of University College London warned the government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, that his approach to the virus is a “big gamble.”
Professor Balloux told MailOnline, “In the absence of intervention, I would expect between 20 to 30% of the population will be infected by the summer.”
If the Professor is accurate, then 20m people will be infected with coronavirus by mid-June.
Sir Patrick said last week at Downing Street that roughly 60% of the UK must catch the virus to build up a “collective immunity.”
But, Professor Balloux, “We won’t hit 60% by mid-June. There’s no way. If we do, it’ll be an apocalypse.”
The true cause of how the coronavirus spread has been revealed by Chinese scientists who have broken cover and said the oubreak started in a science laboratory in Wuhan yards away from a wet market.
They have sensationally spoke out and said the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan was due to the scientists researching bat diseases and could be responsible.
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