Following local residents being sent as far as Newquay and Aberdeen for a Covid-19 test, Munira has today criticised the Government for failures in the Test and Trace system.
Local schools have raised concerns over the unnecessary pressures they are facing due to a lack of available testing for teachers, parents and students.
Parents who have managed to access slots for a Covid-19 test after hours of waiting are being told to travel as far as Oldham, Newquay or Aberdeen. Currently, no home testing kits are available.
Munira raises the issue in Parliament
Speaking in the House of Commons, Munira said:
“On 16 July, I flagged with the Secretary of State that the Academy of Medical Sciences was warning that a rapid expansion of test and trace was needed to prepare for a second wave. He told me they are learning lessons as they go.
Today, school pupils and parents in my constituency are being sent as far afield as Aberdeen for a test and home tests simply aren’t available.
Forget world-beating, what is he doing to ensure a functioning Test and Trace system is in place as soon as possible?”
Matt Hancock responded:
“We have the largest testing system imaginable. We want to expand it further and of course there are challenges as many Members have raised but the imperative for people who have symptoms to get a test is important and we are trying to solve the operational problems that she talks about.”
Following this exchange, Munira said:
“It is absolutely absurd that local residents are being told to travel as far as Aberdeen or Newquay for Covid-19 testing!
Matt Hancock likes to claim the system is ‘world beating’ but so far it is barely functional. At a time when we might be about to head into a second wave of Covid-19, this is an incredibly worrying place to be.
The Government has had the summer to prepare for schools reopening and there has been plenty of warning from the scientific community that the Government needs to get this right. The Government cannot afford to be making mistakes this far down the line.
The Government urgently needs to get a grip on the ongoing issues so that we have a working test and trace system. This must include ensuring that no person has to travel far to get a test. People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake if the Government doesn’t get this right.”