The Government prompt to get fully vaccinated, boosted and to test regularly has seen people rush to get their hands on the free tests, seeing a shortage in both pharmacies and on the NHS website. With the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus rising in numbers, the demand for the kits has surged in recent weeks. Many have taken to Twitter to vent their frustration at the shortage of kits, but also at those who are hoarding them in times of crisis.
Raging at the shortages, Aarron said: “Right, time to confess; which **** has been hoarding all these lateral flow tests like they’re bog roll in April 2020?”
Christine said: “Lateral flows are the new toilet rolls.”
Jon Roche said people were to blame for the shortage in the first place.
He said: “No wonder there’s a lateral flow test shortage at the moment people like that doing four on the bounce just to be sure.”
CitizenSmith however blamed the PM.
He said: “Boris Johnson is urging people to take a lateral flow test before going out tonight for the New Year Festivities. Oh yeah. Where are people going to get LFTs? There’s a shortage you idiot.”
Speaking of the hoarding issue, DavidH said: “My neighbour who lives alone has received three this week and had at least one delivered at the end of last week. People are obsessed with these lateral flow test however I suspect they’re hoarding them rather than testing daily.”
Niki Elliot said: “If it’s found out that anti-vaxxers are hoarding lateral flow test, they should be convicted of a crime.”
Ann Watson said she predicted the problem would occur by saying: “I could have told the Government about the shortage of lateral flow tests a week before Christmas.”
She added: “Now I would like to say to the MP who came on TV. If the PM tells us to get a lateral flow test before going into crowded areas then people will go and hoard them.”
Unvaccinated people ‘still at risk’ if they get Omicron
With a severe shortage across the country, calls have been made to prioritise the tests to those who need them most.
NHS workers must be given priority for accessing lateral flow COVID-19 tests, professional health bodies say.
The British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing said health staff should come first for the rapid tests to ease staffing issues.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said ministers expect they will need to “constrain” supply for two weeks to manage surging demand.
It comes as UK daily Covid cases reached another record high of 189,213.
A further 332 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were also recorded – the highest figure since 2 March.
Scots invasion BEGINS! Revellers flock to England [REPORT]
Redwood fumes as China capitalises on Covid test meltdown [INSIGHT]
Brexit row erupts over EU rules dictating parts of Britain [OPINION]
However, the number of deaths includes a backlog of hospital deaths reported overnight by NHS England covering the period from 24 to 29 December.
The number of daily cases also include figures from Wales for a two-day period.
Meanwhile, Wales has loaned four million lateral flow tests to England. And Mr Javid said the supply of lateral flow tests in the UK was being tripled early next year, to 300 million a month.
Labour is also calling for key workers to be prioritised for PCR and lateral flow tests, warning that the issue is adding to staff shortages.
Meanwhile, Covid hospital admissions are also rising, with 2,082 admissions in England on 28 December – up 90 percent in a week and the highest daily figure since February.
The latest figures do not break down data into those who have been admitted because of symptoms directly linked to COVID-19 and those admitted for other conditions who tested positive on arrival.
The number of Covid patients in England’s hospitals – 11,452 – is still well below the peak of around 34,000 last January.