People are again struggling to get Lateral Flow Tests and staff at the Manston PCR test site are ‘working flat out.’
North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale says he is trying to get help for constituents.
He said on social media: “Kent appears to be in Lateral Flow and PCR Test gridlock. Manston staff working flat out, no stocks in chemists and no East Kent delivery slots available.”
Earlier this month Kent County Councillor Barry Lewis, who sits on the authority’s public health committee, raised the acute supply issue for Lateral Flow Tests saying he feared health repercussions if people couldn’t test over the Christmas period.
Although the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has doubled delivery capacity people are still having difficulties getting the tests with many pharmacies running out of supplies.
UKHSA has worked with Royal Mail for a rapid expansion in delivery capacity to people’s homes and is also increasing test availability at pharmacies, PCR testing sites and local authorities. Pharmacies are now able to access 10.5 million lateral flow tests per week, an increase of 5.5 million tests per week.
UKHSA says it is working to secure hundreds of millions more LFD tests and an increase in PCR laboratory testing capacity of up to 150,000 tests per day.
Tailbacks were caused on Boxing Day as people queued to get PCR tests at the Manston site.
Sir Roger said: “I have spoken to Secretary of State, there is a world shortage of Lateral Flow and PCR test supplies, but we are buying all that’s available. Best advice to constituents- keep trying online, as stock are being released hourly.”