Scrapping free testing ‘will hinder ability to swiftly detect new variants’ warns doctor

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“The UK’s globally lauded testing regimen has ensured that new variants have been quickly detected, enabling the Government to take swift action such as supercharging the booster programme late in 2021.”

“This substantial drawdown in testing will slow our ability to analyse mutations of the virus and consequently delay crucial public health interventions to control its spread,” continued the doctor.

With fewer test results, the UK Health Security Agency will be less able to detect new variants and identify which areas of the UK have the highest level of Covid.

Dr Kinane says: [D]oing away with free testing might discourage people from testing regularly in turn reducing the availability of data required to swiftly identify new variants and mutations of the virus, and craft timely public health response.”



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