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Not enough tests in UK for five months, study predicts

If most people in the UK with a cough or fever request a coronavirus test this winter, there won’t be enough tests every day for five months, a study has estimated.

Based on normal levels of coughs and fever alone – which are common symptoms of flu and cold – demand will peak in December.

The researchers say current UK testing capacity should be “immediately scaled up to meet this high predicted demand”.

A new lab will increase the number of tests processed, officials say.

Combined with new technology and new tests, the government plans to reach 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.

The study, which has not yet been published or evaluated, estimated the number of people with a cough or fever last winter in England, and predicted the impact of those people requesting Covid-19 tests this winter.

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