There is “absolutely no way” that free lateral flow tests will be eliminated

There is “absolutely no way” that free lateral flow tests will be eliminated

‘I noticed that news this morning, which puzzled me because I don't identify it at all,' Nadhim Zahawi said on Sky's Trevor Phillips on Sunday. This is not where we are.

‘In January alone, 425 million lateral flow tests were submitted for free.

‘I have no idea where that tale is coming from.'
‘Absolutely not,' he said when asked about intentions to charge for lateral flow tests.

People without Covid-19 symptoms may be unable to undergo free lateral flow tests within weeks.

The devices, which are expensive in many other countries, have already cost £6 billion.
An earlier warning to Boris Johnson had been that the move would be ‘utterly wrongheaded'.

Throughout the pandemic, the public has been urged to test.

As reported by the Sunday Times, the NHS Test and Trace system may be scaled back as part of the statement.

In high-risk settings including care homes, hospitals, and schools, complimentary tests may be administered solely to those presenting symptoms.

Due to the Omicron surge, lateral flow tests are still in short supply across the country.
But Nicola Sturgeon asked the Prime Minister not to discontinue free testing.

The Scottish Government had not agreed to the measure, which she described as ‘utterly wrongheaded'.

Nothing could be more helpful in attempting to “live with” Covid,' she tweeted.

‘Testing is so crucial, we'd have to consider continuing money, but it would come from existing funds,' Ms Sturgeon said.
But a government source denied the storey and said it was premature to predict the future of free lateral flows.

They were made available to all English citizens in April, including those without symptoms.

They were viewed as a significant technique of suppressing the infection and giving people confidence to mix with loved ones, especially around the holidays.

They are less reliable than PCR testing but are credited with detecting infections that would otherwise go undetected.
But the research suggests Whitehall is worried about their expenses.

‘I don't think we can keep giving free lateral flow tests to everyone forever,' a senior Whitehall official told The Sunday Times. We may go to a scenario with less testing but the ability to scale it up if needed, say in the winter.'

Despite Omicron's exceptional rise in case rates, fewer individuals are hospitalised and dying.

Despite the record number of cases, hospitalisations remain high, and the NHS appears to be overwhelmed by winter workloads and staff absences.

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