Buckling COVID testing system leaves England parents a worried lot
BIRMINGHAM (UK) – Parents across England are a worried lot as their children will not be allowed to return to school unless they test negative for the virus. With the testing system buckling, it is an uphill task to get oneself tested.
In May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged to put in place a “world beating” system to test and trace people. He said he sympathised with those who were unable to get tested as the system is overburdened with massive demand.
Parents across England are a frustrated lot.
Vinay Guwant, 44, is concerned about his son who developed a cough over the weekend and the school authorities have said he can return to class only if he tests negative.
His three-day endeavour to find a suitable testing spot on the government website ended in a fiasco despite waking up early in the morning and staying past midnight. He was finally able to get his son tested after a friend told him slots were available.
Guwant is all praise for the staff who carried out the test. But he is worried about the IT system and said it could be further strained with the second wave of COVID-19 as England edges closer to winter.
“If the system is this bad now you have to wonder how it will cope with the winter,” he said from the testing centre at Birmingham University. “It needs drastic attention now.”
Health officials said there is a lack of laboratory capacity and many people are coming for tests even without having any symptoms.