The first minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, explained that “The health minister agreed to loan a further 4 million such tests to the English NHS, bringing that mutual aid to 10 million lateral flow tests. Wales has a significant stock of lateral flow tests, sufficient to meet our needs over the weeks ahead.”
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland helped England by loaning 20 million LFT’s in August of last year.
“The health minister agreed to loan a further 4 million such tests to the English NHS, bringing that mutual aid to 10 million lateral flow tests“
Boris spoke on the Omicron variant on December 12th, and that same day the DHSC declared that fully vaccinated people in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for Covid 19 can do a LFT once a day for a week instead of self-isolating. The demand for LFTs skyrocketed because of this.
The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said that 2.3 million LFT’s were sent to distribution centres on the 29th December, followed by 2 million on December 30, and "a comparable quantity" on December 31.
According to a member of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the UK’s testing capabilities are “the biggest in Europe with almost 400 million tests carried out since the start of the pandemic.”
Alastair Buxton said that although the UKHSA is “sending the maximum available stock of test kits to pharmacies”, due to demand surge “the kits are all handed out before the end of the day”.
“We ask the public to recognise the supply constraints that pharmacies are working under and that they behave respectfully to pharmacy team members.”
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