Matt Hancock’s testing target lies in tatters as number of swabs carried out drops to just 69,463

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Matt Hancock’s testing target lies in tatters as number of swabs carried out drops to just 69,463 – little more than HALF the 122,000 he claimed victory for a week ago

  • Some 69,463 took place in the 24 hours to 9am, Government figures reveal
  • That figure is just 57% of the 122,327 tests Matt Hancock unveiled on Friday
  • Labour’s Jon Ashworth demanded ‘actual testing increasing day by day’
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The Government was facing fresh questions over its coronavirus testing regime tonight as the number carried out fell by more than 40 per cent in just four days.

Some 69,463 took place in the 24 hours to 9am today, according to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

That figure is just 57 per cent of the 122,327 tests that Matt Hancock boasted had been carried out on Thursday to meet his pledge of 100,000 tests conducted per day by the end of April. 

It came as Boris Johnson revealed a new ‘ambition’ to reach a capacity of 200,000 tests per day by the end of May.

Ministers have hailed increased testing as vital for allowing the lockdown to be eased from next week and kick-start the economy. 

But critics questioned the validity of the numbers. Labour’s shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: ‘Originally Boris Johnson promised us 250,000 a day. Now it’s lab capacity of 200,000 per day. 

‘And the pledge of 100,000 completed tests per day hasn’t been since April 30. 

‘We need to see actual testing increasing day by day as part of an effective test, trace and isolate plan.’

Some 69,463 took place in the 24 hours to 9am today, according to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick

That figure is just 57 per cent of the 122,327 tests that Matt Hancock boasted had been carried out on Thursday to meet his pledge of 100,000 tests conducted per day by the end of April

That figure is just 57 per cent of the 122,327 tests that Matt Hancock boasted had been carried out on Thursday to meet his pledge of 100,000 tests conducted per day by the end of April

It came as Boris Johnson revealed a new 'ambition' to reach a capacity of 200,000 tests per day by the end of May

It came as Boris Johnson revealed a new ‘ambition’ to reach a capacity of 200,000 tests per day by the end of May

Healthy Secretary Matt Hancock claimed the Government met its 100,000 a day testing target by the end of April, including 40,000 tests that had been sent out to homes but had not yet processed.

It has failed to maintain that level in early May, with just 84,000 tests completed on Monday and 

The Prime Minister today said  the ambition clearly is to get up to 200,000 a day by the end of this month and then to go even higher’.

A ‘fantastic testing regime’ will be critical to the UK’s long-term economic recovery, he added.

Downing Street later confirmed he was referring to capacity, rather than the total amount of tests actually carried out, and it could include new antibody tests if any are found to work accurately.

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