Britain needs to conduct a million tests a week before it can loosen the COVID-19 lockdown, ITV’s Tonight Series has been told.
Sir Harry Burns is Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University.
He told Tonight reporter Sonali Shah that Britain was not doing enough testing.
Sir Harry, who was Chief Medical Officer for Scotland for nearly a decade, said that with a million tests a week, the whole population could be tested relatively quickly.
“It’s the single most important thing they can be doing just now,” he added.
17 days into the lockdown now, no-one in Government is willing to talk publicly about exactly when the lockdown can be lifted.
In the meantime, the Government has pledged to spend many tens of billions in a bid to preserve jobs and businesses,
They hope to prop up the economy for long enough to bring the virus under control and slow the number of deaths in fear it might otherwise overwhelm the NHS.
But the programme hears from people who have fallen through the government safety net.
Darren and Mary Andrews both recently went freelance. They could not have chosen a worse time.
The Government told the programme:
Health secretary Matt Hancock Has committed the Government to conducting 100,000 tests a day by the end of this month.
'Lockdown: How Long Can It Last?' is on ITV at 7:30pm.