Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced a new target of 200,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of May.
On his return to Prime Minister’s questions in parliament after recovering from Covid-19 Johnson revealed the new target.
Johnson said the government has a new “ambition” to reach 200,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of May and to “go even higher”.
Johnson also said lockdown measures could be eased by Monday with an announcement planned for Sunday.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had questioned why the government had hit its target of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April, only to see testing numbers fall.
Starmer said that since 30 April, coronavirus test numbers have “fallen back”, with only 84,000 taking place and 24,000 not used according to the last figures.
“What does the prime minister think was so special about 30 April that meant testing that day was so high,” he asked.
Starmer criticised the government after the UK’s death toll reached the highest in Europe.
“How on earth did it come to this?” Starmer said.
“Every death is a tragedy and he is right to draw attention to the appalling statistics, not just in this country but around the world,” Johnson said.
But he said the data is not yet there to “draw conclusions”.
Johnson added: “What I can tell him is at every stage as we took the decisions we did, we were governed by one overriding principle – save lives and protect NHS.”