Britain has reached 200,000 capacity testing target, says government

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks during a daily news conference on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 27, 2020. Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has reached its 200,000 capacity testing target for the coronavirus, including the means for 40,000 antibody tests a day, the government said on Sunday, adding that it had met the goal a day early.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the target of reaching 200,000 tests a day by the end of the month, with aides later saying it was an operational target for Britain to have the capacity to do that number of tests.

“Reaching our 200,000 capacity target is an important milestone on our journey to control the spread of the virus, save lives and gradually ease lockdown,” health minister Matt Hancock said in a statement.

“By rapidly expanding our testing capacity, we have been able to introduce NHS (National Health Service) Test and Trace, and enabling those who have coronavirus symptoms to get a test is an important part of the programme.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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