'Furious' MP blasts government's handling of test and trace system - The Leamington Observer

'Furious' MP blasts government's handling of test and trace system

Laura Kearns 23rd Sep, 2020   0

A ‘FURIOUS’ MP has blasted government’s ‘incompetent’ handling of the test and trace system.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western says he made an unannounced visit to the regional testing facility at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. It is the main testing site in the region serving residents in Coventry and Warwickshire.

During the hour he was there he counted 16 cars entering the centre.

The MP said the site is a ‘large operation’ which has capacity to process far more tests than he witnessed.

It follows news that demand for coronavirus tests has exceeded capacity as the UK has seen a rise in daily confirmed covid-19 cases, as well as a rise in the R rate across the whole country.

Mr Western said: “Constituents have been telling me they have had great difficulties in booking a test, with some being sent miles away and others not able to access one at all.

“Not satisfied with government’s answers and its overall incompetency I approached Public Health Warwickshire and Warwickshire County Council. I asked them what numbers of tests they have been doing per day against their capacity for the site. They say they can’t tell me or haven’t replied.

“I was therefore shocked and furious to discover only 16 cars using the testing facility at the Ricoh, where it was clear that many more could be processed.

“This isn’t the fault of the facility staff who are doing the best they can, but it’s rather a clear failure in the government and their systems to get people tested and traced.

“I’m afraid that the government are wilfully misleading the public on what is really going on.

“We’ve seen cases rise once more, yet the government still can’t get testing right. It has wasted the summer, during which it should have focused on getting the test and trace system running up to standard, but instead we are left once more with yet another failing system putting the public’s health at risk.

“This is what incompetency looks like. We need the system to be fixed before the government loses total control of the virus.”

Warwickshire County Council had not responded to request for comment at the time of going to press.

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