Government prioritises care home testing, after admitting sending swabs abroad to clear backlog

The Government will prioritise coronavirus tests for care homes in at risk areas, The Telegraph understands.

It comes as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) admitted swabs are being sent to Germany and Italy for testing, as UK laboratories have become overwhelmed due to “significant demand”.

Last week, the director of testing at NHS Test and Trace, said laboratories were at a “critical pinch-point”.

But the chaos shows no sign of abating, as the public continue to report being unable to secure tests and swabs are sent abroad for processing in an attempt to clear the backlog. 

Eurofins, a company based in Luxembourg which has labs in Germany, and Immensa, based in L’Aquila, central Italy, are reportedly processing the British tests, according to The Sunday Times.

But allegedly thousands of swabs sent to Germany may have to be “voided” after they were shipped at the wrong temperature, a source told the newspaper.

Tim Nicholls, from London, has been trying to book a test for his five year old daughter after she developed a high temperature.

“We finally got through only to be told that there are no tests available anywhere in the country,” he said.

“No home tests, no walk in tests, no drive through tests, nothing. What an utter shambles!”

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