Covid tests sent to Italy and Germany as UK labs are overwhelmed

Leaked documents reveal backlog of 185,000 swabs and tests sent abroad for processing

The government’s coronavirus testing programme is dealing with a backlog of 185,000 swabs, with tests being sent to Italy and Germany as local labs are overwhelmed.

Not even a week after the government was forced to apologise for continuing delays to Covid testing, the Department of Health and Social Care insisted on Sunday that the capacity of the NHS test-and-trace system was the highest it had ever been but there was a “significant” demand for tests.

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