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The head of the British Medical Association has urged the government to produce a test and trace system that is “fit for purpose”. In an extract from a speech being delivered at today’s BMA annual meeting, its chairman, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, says:
The government is now shooting for the moon promising to deliver mass continuous testing with a test that doesn’t yet exist at a cost nearly as much as the total NHS budget.
Down here on Planet Earth, we need a fit for purpose test and trace system in the here and now with capacity, agility and accessibility that doesn’t require 100-mile journeys that disadvantage some of the most vulnerable.
In an interview on BBC Breakfast Priti Patel, the home secretary, also claimed it was “wrong to say” that there were no tests available. When asked about the shortage of tests, she said:
Tests are available, you’ve heard me say, particularly in local lockdown areas, I’ve seen this myself, I’ve seen the teams that have been working on this.
Mobile testing is going in, capacity is going into local areas where lockdowns have been undertaken and are taking place.