The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has launched a new plan to tackle coronavirus with a range of sweeping initiatives.
In his speech, Mr Hancock announced the five pillars of his plan to improve testing for the virus:
- “Scale up swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a medical need and the most critical workers to 25,000 a day by mid to late April;
- Deliver increased commercial swab testing for critical key workers in the NHS, before then expanding to key workers in other sectors;
- Develop blood testing to help know if people have the right antibodies and so have high levels of immunity to coronavirus;
- Conduct surveillance testing to learn more about the spread of the disease and help develop new tests and treatments; and
- Create a new National Effort for testing, to build a mass-testing capacity at a completely new scale”
Funding for other areas of the coronavirus response was also explained. £300 million has been made available for community pharmacies, and £13.4 billion of NHS Trust debt has been written off, giving all parts of the NHS some relief.
Read more on the website of the Department of Health and Social Care here.