Britain on Wednesday reported its deadliest day since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with 938 new deaths.
Scientists predict the country will enter the peak of the outbreak over the next week and its partial lockdown is expected to be extended by weeks. About 19% more people perished on Tuesday compared with a day earlier, according to Bloomberg.
On April 3, it was reported by Travel Noire that testing kits were contaminated with COVID-19:
Laboratories across the country were warned to expect a delay after traces of the virus were detected in the test kits.
This comes as public health officials face criticism over why Britain’s testing capacity is lagging behind other countries, including Germany, South Korea, and the United States.
In an effort to boost the tests to 25,000 every day by the end of April, the government asked private companies to help with test production.
One of the suppliers – the Luxembourg-based firm Eurofins – sent an email to government laboratories in the UK warning that a delivery of key components called “probes and primers” had been contaminated with coronavirus and would be delayed, the Telegraph is reporting.
The firm admitted there had been “an issue” and insisted other private providers are suffering from the same problem.
In total, 60,733 people have tested positive for the virus, up from 55,242 reported on Tuesday, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care.
Before Wednesday’s figures, the rate of increase in UK cases had been decelerating, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Some 14,682 tests were conducted in the country on April 7, more than the 14,006 conducted the day before. The U.K. aims to conduct 100,000 tests a day by the end of April, seeking to replicate the mass screening seen in countries such as South Korea and Germany.
In late March, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered citizens to stay at home to halt the spread of coronavirus, imposing curbs on everyday life without precedent in peacetime.
Johnson himself later tested positive for COVID-19 and on Sunday was admitted to the hospital. He was transferred to intensive care on Monday when his condition deteriorated.
According to an update provided on Wednesday, the British Prime Minister’s condition is improving.
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