Great Britain

BBC's Nick Robinson explodes at 'embarrassing' Public Health England coronavirus strategy

Just 2,000 of the half a million NHS staff in England have been tested for coronavirus, it has emerged. The number is far below what the Prime Minister promised the Government would be ramping up to. BBC Today show host Nick Robinson got into a heated exchange with Public Health England Medical Director Paul Cosford over the issue, demanding to know if the professor felt "embarrassed" by the reported numbers.

Mr Robinson asked: "When you read these stories, are you not frustrated? Embarrassed about the fact that just 2000 people have out of half a million in the NHS in England have been tested?"

Professor Cosford replied: "I think everybody involved is frustrated that we haven't got to the position yet that we need to get to.

"It's not all bad, of course, from the outset we've been testing anybody who's clinical disease has needed them to be tested.

"In order to get a diagnosis and to get the right treatment for them when they've fallen ill with the coronavirus."

READ MORE: Italian doctor rages at coronavirus workers sent in 'like soldiers'

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bbc radio 4 today nick robinson coronavirus news

BBC host explodes at 'embarrassing' Public Health England coronavirus strategy (Image: BBC)

bbc radio 4 today nick robinson coronavirus news

bbc radio 4 today nick robinson coronavirus news (Image: ITV)

He continued: "That's what my organisation's been particularly responsible for, Public Health England working with the NHS.

"We've ramped that up, we've got not as far as we've wanted to but we've got up to almost 13,000 tests a day as of yesterday being available."

Last night the Prime Minister tried to reassure people that he understood the need for this to change.

He spoke to people via a video on his Twitter feed.

More to follow...

bbc radio 4 today nick robinson coronavirus news

bbc radio 4 today nick robinson coronavirus news (Image: BBC)

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