Covid-19 test centres experiencing 'significant demand' as Portsmouth resident told Aberdeen had closest available test

PEOPLE needing a Covid-19 test are still being told to travel hundreds of miles away – or are finding there are none available.

By Richard Lemmer
Monday, 14th September 2020, 10:51 am
Updated Monday, 14th September 2020, 11:53 am

It comes as leaked documents revealed a backlog of 185,000 tests, with many being sent to German and Italian laboratories for processing, according to the Sunday Times.

Last month saw two Portsmouth residents living less than 30 minutes away from two Covid-19 testing sites in the city being directed to book a test in Manchester instead.

Last week another person was told to travel to Aberdeen – but this slot then vanished.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Covid-19 drive-through testing site at Tipner, Portsmouth, on September 14. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Portsmouth has a rate of 13.5 cases per 100,000 for the week to September 10, with 29 new cases in that period. This is up from a 7.4 rate in the week before, with 16 cases.

Read More

Read More
Indoor arts and crafts market in Southsea giving artists a much-needed boost

The NHS Test and Trace system’s capacity is ‘the highest it has ever been’, according to a spokesman from the Department of Health and Social Care.

He told The News: ‘But we are seeing a significant demand for tests including from people who do not have symptoms and are not otherwise eligible.

‘New booking slots and home testing kits are made available daily for those who need them and we are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, and prioritising at-risk groups.

‘Our laboratories are processing more than a million tests a week and we recently announced new facilities and technology to process results even faster.

‘If you do not have symptoms and are not eligible to get a test you can continue to protect yourself if you wash your hands, wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.