Doubts cast on government's 100,000 test a day claim

Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the achievement “incredible”.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing, Mr Hancock said 122,347 tests were performed in the 24 hours up to 9am on Friday, adding that testing would help “unlock” the lockdown.

It comes after the Health Secretary had promised that testing performance would reach 100,000 each day by the end of April.

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But doubts have been cast over how the testing target was reached.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing, Mr Hancock said 122,347 tests were performed in the 24 hours up to 9am on Friday, adding that testing would help “unlock” the lockdown. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Guidance on the official Government website appears to have changed in the days before the testing deadline.

In the days prior to April 28, there was no reference to how tests were counted.

But on April 28, the guidance said the count included: “(i) test conducted with a result and (ii) test posted to an individual at home.”

On April 30, the page stated that the number of tests includes “tests processed through our labs (and) tests sent to individuals at home or to satellite testing locations”.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “We want the Government’s test, isolate and trace strategy to succeed and welcomed expanding who was eligible to get a test, but counting a test put in the post is not the same as a conducted test and getting results.

“Ministers should focus on making sure these tests are administered effectively rather than moving the goalposts to hit their own arbitrary target.

“Government should urgently clarify its position at tonight’s press conference.”

A total of 27,510 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, up by 739 on the day before.

Mr Hancock also said fertility services will be restarted next week.

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