Sidcup pensioner unable to access lateral flow test kit for almost two weeks

A Sidcup pensioner has been unable to access lateral flow kits for almost two weeks, as suppliers struggle to meet demand amid record Covid case numbers. Wayne, a 78-year-old who lives near Sidcup fire station, has tried to pick up the tests from multiple pharmacies in the area for the last 13 days, except on Christmas day. At 9am on Thursday morning, home delivery slots for lateral flow tests were also unavailable on the Gov.UK website.

Wayne, who lives with his wife, said: “The PM has not implemented restrictive measures on groups of individuals to combat the Omicron virus. A sign saying lateral flow coronavirus tests are out of stock is seen at a pharmacists in London (PA) “Instead he has put the emphasis on individual actors.

“He has said that, if we are visiting or meeting others with whom we do not normally mix, we must take a lateral flow test beforehand. “However, every day for the last 13 days I have visited several pharmacies in Sidcup trying to acquire lateral flow tests but none have been available. “The Aspire pharmacy in the High Street informed me that they have not received any tests for well over a week and, as far as they were aware, no pharmacy in Sidcup had.

“By not ensuring the availability of the tests, the government might appear to be ensuring that more people will get Covid.” Pharmacies across the country have complained about patchy supplies of lateral flow kits. Prime Minister Boris Johnson today urged people in England heading out for New Year’s Eve festivities on Friday to get tested.

A leading scientist said the conditions at a New Year’s Eve gathering were “perfect” for spreading coronavirus, raising concerns about the prospect of people unable to get tested attending gatherings. Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it’s very worrying indeed. “We know the situations in which transmission happens and fortunately I don’t think we are facing the sort of lockdown that was necessary in order to cope in the very earliest part of this year.

“But we do know that crowding together in poorly ventilated spaces, particularly if you are shouting over loud music and so on, is absolutely perfect in terms of transmitting this very, very highly transmissible virus.” The UK Health Security Agency said on Wednesday that eight million lateral flow test kits would be made available to pharmacies by New Year’s Eve. The Government is under increasing pressure to up the capacity of coronavirus testing as case numbers reached their highest level yet.

A new record was set for the daily number of coronavirus cases on Wednesday, as all four UK nations reported their figures for the first time since Christmas Eve. The UK Government said that a further 183,037 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases had been recorded in the UK as of 9am on Wednesday. Have you got a story for us?

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