The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) has commended the Government for sourcing additional COVID-19 test.
In a statement, the RCoA said the Government announcement last week of increased testing capacity is “a welcome step forward”.
At a Downing Street briefing last week, Health and Social Care Secretary for England, Matt Hancock, said capacity was now at 51,000 tests a day. The target is to carry out 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month.
There were 23,560 COVID-19 tests in the UK in the previous 24-hour reporting period. Of those, 2985 were key workers and their households, with 752 testing positive.
Professor Ravi Mahajan, RCoA President, said: “I would like to congratulate the Government for developing the ability for key workers and their households to be tested for COVID-19 if they are showing virus symptoms.
“For the combined 23,000 members of the RCoA who are right at the frontline of the NHS’ response to this pandemic, this is a welcome step forward to ensuring their safety and therefore the safety of their patients, their colleagues and their families.”
A recent RCoA survey showed that 17 per cent of anaesthetists were self-isolating because of suspected COVID-19. Nearly 40 per cent were unable to access testing for themselves and over half did not have access to testing for their household members.
Professor Mahajan said: “The sooner anaesthetists can be tested, the sooner those who are negative can return to the frontline, treating their patients and supporting their colleagues. The Government’s pledge to ramp up testing capacity to 100,000 tests per day by the end of April is a vital next step in supporting our health and care staff.”