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UK's test, trace chief says program failed to predict demand

(Xinhua)    08:54, November 11, 2020

LONDON, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Britain's National Health Service (NHS) coronavirus test and trace program had failed to predict the scale of demand for testing as schools and universities returned this autumn, the head of the program said Tuesday.

"As schools came back we saw demand significantly outstrip (the) planned capacity delivery... None of us were able to predict that in advance," said Dido Harding, the executive chair of NHS Test and Trace told lawmakers.

Harding acknowledged that COVID-19 remains an unknown disease and scientists are still learning about the virus, The Guardian reported.

"The reality is that we are all learning about COVID, we are learning about how the disease behaves and we are learning about how all of us as human beings and a society behave, and we are seeing that learning happening in real time across the whole world."

Harding noted that the government managed to build capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October in a bid to keep up with the demand.

Also on Tuesday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the government is set to expand mass tests across the country after the trial in Liverpool.

He said rapid turnaround coronavirus tests have been offered to every local authority in England and the British government is now aiming to roll out similar schemes across the rest of Britain.

To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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