Why UK Covid testing must be more than just a numbers game

Focus should not be on how many tests are done, but how they are used and where, say experts

How many coronavirus tests does the UK really need? The official aim is 500,000 a day by the end of October, more than double the current total. But, amid concern over a series of missed targets, scientists have tried to quantify the projected need – and their findings help illustrate why demand is so high now, and why it will be even higher come December.

On Wednesday, Dido Harding, the head of the NHS test-and-trace programme, revealed that demand in England was currently three to four times capacity, which stands at 242,817 tests a day.

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