Boris Johnson misses target to complete coronavirus tests within 24 hours

PUBLISHED: 13:21 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:49 09 July 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives his daily COVID 19 press briefing at Downing Street on March 22, 2020 in London, England. Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives his daily COVID 19 press briefing at Downing Street on March 22, 2020 in London, England. Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 10,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

2020 Getty Images

Boris Johnson failed to meet his target of having all coronavirus tests completed within 24 hours by the end of June, newly-released data shows.

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There was only a minimal increase in the proportion of tests completed within the timeframe after the prime minister made his pledge, statistics from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) suggested.

Johnson had told Jeremy Hunt during PMQs that 90% of tests were already turned around in 24 hours and that he would increase that to all but those with “insuperable problems” by the end of June.


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The PM said: “We already do 90% of tests turned around within 24 hours. Of the tests conducted at the 199 testing centres, as well as the mobile centres, they’re all done within 24 hours, and I can undertake to him (Mr Hunt) now to get all tests turned around within 24 hours by the end of June except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that.”

But the number only rose to 91% of in-person tests being completed within the timeframe at regional test sites between June 25 and July 1, according to the DHSC data.

However, the department said the proportion of tests returned by the end of the following day increased to 97.5%.x

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