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.