MICHAEL Gove yesterday acknowledged that the UK Government needs to go “further, faster” on its coronavirus testing, prompting questions on why ministers have failed to meet their testing targets from critics.

The UK Government had previously claimed to have met a target of 10,000 tests a day, but currently about 8000 tests are being carried out.

And now a further target of 25,000 daily tests is not expected to be reached until the end of the month.

Housing and Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told Good Morning Britain that the Cabinet expects to be at 15,000 daily tests by the end of the week.

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He was asked why the UK was not as prepared as Germany on testing capabilities, to which he replied: “I accept that we do need to ramp up production significantly. It isn’t easy to procure the tests in a global pandemic because there is a great deal of demand.

“Some countries have proved to be more able to get tests - that is partly dependent on the manufacturing base in their own country.

“Different countries have different healthcare manufacturing strengths. I think we will see, with ventilators for example, some of the strengths of British manufacturing coming through.”

Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, had said that a shortage of chemical reagents needed for the Covid-19 tests was proving to be a “critical constraint” in the UK Government’s efforts to increase testing capacity.

The Chemical Industries Association acknowledged there was high demand but said reagents were being made and delivered to the NHS.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the UK had a lot to learn from Germany’s mass-testing approach to the pandemic, adding there are “big questions” for the Government on why it has not reached the target of 70,000 tests a week when Germany had now reached half a million.

And former Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was “very worrying” that the Government had not adopted a mass-testing policy.

He said: “It is internationally proven as the most effective way of breaking the chain of transmission.

“However difficult it is to source the reagents to ramp up the capacity of laboratories up and down the country, it is essential that mass community testing is part of our national strategy.”

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