In scenes of “absolute pandemonium” and “chaos”, drivers lined up for hours as they attempted a coronavirus test to be turned away – as the system struggled to cope with the growing demand.
At one location in Lewisham, south London, many “extremely angry” people were shouting at each other for action, as were the staff, according to an eyewitness.
All of them were asked to leave without taking a test, Henry Ball said.
The staff said booking the test online wasn’t enough – they needed a QR code that almost anyone had.
Meanwhile, about 50 people have been stopped at the Duxford Park test site in Sunderland. One of the areas that have been closed in the northeast – But there was no tent or other infrastructure, there were no personnel to survey them, nor officials to explain what happened.
There have been reports this month of people being asked to travel hundreds of miles to take a test because demand outstrips supply Corona Virus The infection continues to rise.
Paul, 29, traveled by bike to Lewisham from his nearby home in Peckham after booking an appointment online because he had a cough.
He described the scene as “hooliganism, utter chaos,” adding: “The entire road junction is blocked with cars queuing to reach it, and many motorists leaving and shouting at each other to get away from the road.
“Once you actually got to the site, no one received the QR code that you have to test.”
He said that a woman who had been in line for four hours broke down in tears after being told she would not be seen.
“To be honest, there was a very horrific and stressful situation, a lot of very upset people, and presumably many of them Coronavirus disease As well as exposing many of us to infection. “
Sky correspondent Ivor Bennett said the test center was “the epicenter of traffic congestion from Hell. For miles around and for hours on end, there was congestion in every direction.”
He explained: “The reason is that hundreds of people were queuing to get a test center, and this was not there for all intentions and purposes.
“A table with one armrest was set, under the gazebo, in the parking lot behind Lewisham City Hall. But instead of wiping the people there, men in high orange jackets waved people away at the entrance.
“They said booking an online test wasn’t enough. They also wanted a QR, which almost nobody had. The only man who claimed to have done so was informed that the center had closed, and it was 3.40 pm.”
“There were people who traveled from all over the Southeast – Southampton, Harlow, Tonbridge Wells, Maidenhead. Frustration mounted as he faced some of the staff, whose response was always the same – ‘It’s not our fault.’
Meanwhile, in Sunderland, heavy truck mechanic Brad Cockburn took an afternoon of unpaid work to make the 100-mile round trip from Bidal, North Yorkshire, to a location on a business complex outside of town, but found the infrastructure and officials unpaid. Are there.
The 28-year-old said, “They are supposed to put these things in place for people to work again. Now they have all these people gathered here and no one is testing them.”
Sunderland’s Rob Reed was among those who booked a coronavirus test and traveled to the site – only to find out there were no swabs available.
The 58-year-old said, “My concern is with my health and it appears that the government is not interested in that, when they make reservations on the NHS and there is nobody here to do that.”
When another driver was asked how he felt, he simply replied: “Tense.”
The head of the testing and tracking system said she did not believe that “anyone would have expected to see a significant increase in demand” for coronavirus tests.
Reports poured in on people saying they were told the tests were not available or had to be taken hundreds of miles from where they lived.