Why the UK is finding it so hard to reach 100,000 Covid-19 tests a day

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A slow start, a top-down approach and long-term cuts to local services meant target was always going to be ambitious

On 2 April, the day he emerged from quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19, Matt Hancock stood at the Downing Street podium for the daily coronavirus press conference and made an announcement that was greeted in some quarters by a sharp intake of breath.

“I’m now setting the goal of 100,000 tests per day by the end of this month. That is the goal and I’m determined we’ll get there,” said the health secretary, who had tested positive around a week earlier.

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