Coronavirus: Government hits testing target – but critics say figures manipulated

Derrick Santistevan

Matt Hancock didn’t simply reach his 100,000 everyday testing target, he declares he overshot it substantially with 122,347 tests performed in the 24 hours to 9am today.

It appears a considerable achievement because the health secretary’s own cabinet colleagues were openly questioning him as just recently as the other day.

Yet the real benefit of a target, as Mr Hancock confessed this night, is it has “a galvanising effect on everyone involved. It is a mission”.

The government has actually exceeded its testing target

Hancock: ‘We have actually met our goal’

Plainly the countdown clock in the Department for Health focused the minds of civil servants.

Nevertheless today’s figure does consist of 40,369 home testing tests and packages brought out at satellite centres, but not always returned.

Some critics claim that is an adjustment of the stats. People will comprise their own minds, but even taking into consideration the allegation that numbers have actually been rubbed, the government has actually handled to substantially enhance its testing capability in a matter of weeks.

As a former chief of personnel to George Osborne – himself a canny strategist – Mr Hancock understands that setting an attainable objective, and after that attaining it, is a well- used political strategy.

With such a complicated problem as the government’s action to COVID-19, it is a basic, binary method of enabling the public to examine skills: either you fulfill it, or you do not.

The health secretary has actually not simply burnished his own reputation but assisted develop self-confidence in the work of his colleagues.

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Nevertheless Mr Hancock understands that testing is now most beneficial as part of a ‘test, track and trace’ program.

This would track the transmission of the infection, and trace those a contaminated individual has actually had contact with. It will be important for decreasing the ‘ R’ rate of recreation, and keeping it down.

The government is now hiring 18,000 contact tracers but the plan is not likely to be up and running up until mid- May.

And some argue – just like much of the government’s action – all this ought to have taken place rather.

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