Coronavirus tests supplies running out in parts of the North East
Labour’s Ian Mearns said an increase of tests is needed in his Gateshead constituency, claiming the area only has enough for two hours of testing.
Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has pledged to raise the concerns with Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Speaking at business questions, Mr Mearns said: “My director of public health in Gateshead is very concerned that despite the fact that the number of cases in Gateshead has gone up from 18 to 33 to 38 of Covid-19 in the last fortnight, our testing capacity has just gone. It has just dried up, completely evaporated.
“At the latest count we only have enough tests to start in the morning at eight o’clock and completely run out by 10.
“That has significant problems for equalities issues in terms of the people who can get tested and where they can be tested and when they can be tested.
“Our director of public health would like the Government to do something about this and increase testing capacity.
“It isn’t just important in those areas which are hot spots, it’s important everywhere – particularly where local communities are seeing an increase in the number of cases.”
Replying for the Government, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I will take this up with the Secretary of State for Health on behalf of (Mr Mearns) as I am not personally an expert in that particular field.”