Matt Hancock makes £100 charity bet that UK will meet 100k testing target by end of April – The Sun

MATT Hancock has made a £100 wager that he will get his testing target of 100,000 daily swabs by the end of April.

LBC host Nick Ferrari offered to give a charity of the Health Secretary's choosing a cheque for £100 if the Health Secretary met his own testing targets.

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Mr Ferrari asked Mr Hancock: "Are you prepared to have a £100 wager, and I will never be happier to write a cheque for £100, are you prepared to have a £100 bet when you deliver 100,000 tests on May 1st?"

Mr Hancock replied: "I've got enough riding on this already Nick… (but) let's do it for Hospice UK."

The Health Secretary said he was working hard to get testing numbers up but that there are "no guarantees in life".

Mr Hancock has been dogged by criticism over failing to meet testing targets, and as of yesterday had only reached 37,024 swabs being carried out daily.

He set himself a target of 100,000 by the end of April earlier this month in an attempt to prove the Government was ramping up daily testings numbers.

He has blamed a lack of demand for the low testing numbers and has continually said the "capacity is there" for any key workers that need it.

Last week Mr Hancock announced around 10 million key workers from the NHS and care staff to police officers, firefighters, journalists and supermarket staff would be able to get tests through a new online portal if they needed one.

But yesterday, home tests kits online were unavailable only an hour after new slots were released.

It was the fourth day in a row sick Brits were unable to get a hold of the tests they need through the portal.

10,000 home testing kits were ordered yesterday through the site.

British Medical Association chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said yesterday there was no point setting up the online booking system if it didn't have enough capacity.

He said: "What we found in the first two days was that within an hour the bookings had all been taken up, and therefore offered no practical help for large numbers of healthcare staff."

"If the Government wants healthcare workers to have access to the test, it has to be in the context or providing adequate capacity, not a 'first come, first served' and closing within an hour."

"That's not delivering on the needs of our health and care staff."

Dr Nagpaul added the testing capacity was "well, well short" of the number of healthcare staff currently self-isolating.

The home testing kits are crucial for care workers who are more spread out across the country, often in remote locations.

They are also important for people who are too sick to get to a drive through centre.

Chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) Professor Peter Horby said there would need to be a huge increase in testing in order to be ready for the Government's new focus on tracking and tracing new cases.

He said it would be would be a "real logistical challenge".

Nervtag is one of the groups advising ministers on the coronavirus crisis.

Professor Horby told BBC Radio 4 yesterday: "The test and trace capabilities are really going to be critical as we come out of lockdown.

"We will have to be able to test all those people (declaring via apps that they are displaying symptoms) and it is really a matter of scale and speed.

"One issue is how many tests we need, and if we are looking at 1,000 to 5,000 new cases per day of people with symptoms, of which 5 to 25 per cent may have COVID, then you are talking about 25,000 to 100,000 tests a day."

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