Testing times

This latest report from UK think tank Adam Smith Institute looks at Covid-19 testing.

Testing Times makes the case for decentralising COVID-19 diagnostic testing in the United Kingdom. Testing is a key tool to combat infectious diseases. It allows doctors to identify the needs of patients, public health authorities to trace and isolate cases to minimise spread, and epidemiologists to track the spread of an outbreak. It is also essential for healthcare workers to return to the frontline. The early decision to centralise testing to a single Public Health England (PHE) laboratory has hampered the ability to increase testing in the UK. Testing has now been expanded to 12 labs operated by PHE as well as a limited number of NHS laboratories. The private sector has shown an extensive willingness to support the Government’s efforts to tackle COVID-19, including the rapid design and manufacture of ventilators and agreeing to transfer beds and staff in independent hospitals to the NHS. It’s time for the UK Government to allow private labs, universities and charities to begin testing immediately.

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