Coronavirus testing figure falls below 80,000, latest figures show

4 May 2020, 11:16

Royal Marines from 42 Commando Royal Marines, Plymouth, helping to conduct tests for Covid-19 at a mobile testing unit in Salisbury
Royal Marines from 42 Commando Royal Marines, Plymouth, helping to conduct tests for Covid-19 at a mobile testing unit in Salisbury. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The number of daily tests being carried out for coronavirus in the UK has fallen to below 80,000, the latest figures show.

A total of 76,496 tests were carried out in the 24 hours up to 9am on May 3, according to government figures.

On Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that the Government's target of 100,000 tests a day by the end of April had been achieved, with more than 122,000 tests having been provided on the last day of the month.

Since then, the number has dropped by about 40,000, according to official statistics.

Overall, a total of 1,206,405 coronavirus tests have been carried out in the UK since the beginning of April.

In the Government's daily briefing on Sunday, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said that steps taken to extend testing would help get more people back to work.

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He said: "Thanks to the hard work of so many across the NHS, Public Health England, our pharmaceutical sector and our universities, we have tested over 200,000 key workers and their families, allowing those who don't have the virus to go back to work and protecting those who do.

"We have now of course extended the criteria for testing beyond key workers to anyone over 65 displaying symptoms, and anyone who has to travel to get to work.

"And this week, we will be piloting new test, track and trace procedures on the Isle of Wight with a view to having them in place more widely later this month.

"All of these steps will help us to get more people back to work and help to support the delivery of our public services."

On the testing figures, NHS England's national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: "You will see that testing capacity has ramped up very quickly over the last week or so and we are now at a very high level of testing, over 100,000 - a little bit of a dip in the weekend, but we anticipate that that testing capacity will continue to increase."

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