UK says COVID-19 'Test and Trace' system cost to rise to 22 billion pounds


© Reuters. People queue outside a test centre in Southend-on-sea


LONDON (Reuters) – The British government announced a 7-billion-pound increase in funding for its COVID-19 testing and contact tracing system on Monday, as part of an expanded programme of mass testing and plans to test frontline staff more regularly.

The ‘Test and Trace’ system has been heavily criticised after a series of high-profile failures since its launch earlier this year, and ministers concede it has not performed as well as they had hoped.

Nevertheless, the government is banking on enhanced testing programmes as an important prong of its strategy to ease the economic burden of lockdowns and restrictions that have been implemented to control the spread of the virus.

“This strategy is backed by an additional 7 billion pounds for NHS (National Health Service) Test and Trace to increase testing and continue to improve contact tracing, taking the overall funding provided for Test and Trace this financial year to 22 billion pounds,” the government said in its COVID-19 winter plan, published on Monday.

The government wants to roll-out rapid testing to frontline healthcare, social care and other high risk staff, and expand pilot programmes which have sought to test large numbers of people in a single area to identify asymptomatic cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out new measures on Monday to replace a COVID-19 lockdown in England from Dec. 2, reinforcing a previous regional approach to try to reopen businesses where infection rates are lower.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

READ  PPP loan plan a mess so far for small businesses riding out coronavirus crisis

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here