Sir Keir Starmer called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to apologize for the “imminent breakdown” of the government’s coronavirus testing and tracking system.
The Labor leader told the BBC that ministers “lost control of where the virus is,” making the need for more restrictions “more likely.”
He added that “identifying the test” should be “priority number one.”
The Health Minister said additional resources are being allocated to expedite test results.
Matt Hancock blamed a sharp rise in asymptomatic people seeking tests to increase demand, but he said this has decreased in the past week or so.
However, he admitted that the percentage of test results that were changed during the 24-hour period targeted by the government “must rise clearly.”
Sir Kerr’s call to apologize for the test comes as the government has imposed fines of up to £ 10,000 for people who fail to self-isolate after they have been ordered to.
A new legal duty in England will require people to self-isolate if they test positive for the virus, or are traced back to being close to people, from September 28.
The UK government hopes that the new fines will be replicated in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which have powers to set their own coronavirus rules.
Get ready for fall
Speaking on the Andrew Marr program on the BBC, Sir Kerr said Labor would support “any action” the ministers would take to quell HIV cases.
But he added, “If I were the prime minister, I would apologize for the fact that we are in this position with the test.
“All summer, we used to say“ prepare for fall. ”Instead, we had exam failures.
I’ll make priority test setting number one, and repeat daily press conferences so we know what’s going on. ”
Asked whether testing problems make a second nationwide lockdown more likely, Sir Kerr said: “I don’t think the lockdown is inevitable.
“But I think it is likely now due to the imminent collapse of the tests.”
The warning comes after the head of England’s Test and Tracking System said earlier this week that demand for tests “significantly exceeds” supply.
Baroness Harding told Members of Parliament that the return of children to the classroom in schools means that demand for testing in England among those under 17 has doubled.
The need to “set priorities”
“I don’t think anyone would have expected to see the significant increase in demand that has occurred over the past few weeks,” she said.
Also speaking to Andrew Marr, Hancock said, “Fortunately, demand has decreased a bit this week.”
He said the government had been “clearer and stricter” about prioritizing tests “for people who need them and who are showing symptoms.”
Ahead of the expected publication of the list of people to be put on the waiting list for the tests, he said, “We need to be clear about setting priorities.”
“We also need to build that [testing] Ability “.
Meanwhile, Sir Kerr also called for children to be prioritized for testing, adding that there is an “urgent” need to increase testing to keep schools open.
He said the children should be placed in “the same position” as the main workers, with tests available within 24 hours and results reported within another day.
Speaking on Sky News, he said sending pupils and whole-year groups home while kids wait for test results could prevent a “meaningful return” to the classroom.
He added that this would require more total testing capacity than the 500,000 target promised by the government by the end of next month.
Business conference online
Sir Kiir’s interview comes as he prepares to address Labor members next week during the party’s online conference, which began on Saturday.
The four-day event, which ran for four days, has been renamed to replace the traditional party convention in Liverpool, which was canceled due to the pandemic.
Sir Kiir said the event would give the party an opportunity “to change and refocus on winning the upcoming elections.”
But before the event, it was Forewarned against The “extremist policies” “softened” of his leadership campaign by the head of Labor’s Fire Brigade Syndicate.