Dr Hilary claims Boris Johnson's 'moonshot' COVID-19 testing plan is 'unachievable'

10 September 2020, 12:23

Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Dr Hilary Jones spoke out against the Prime Minister's ambitious testing plans on Good Morning Britain.

In a special press conference held at Downing Street on Wednesday evening, Boris Johnson announced a 'moonshot' Covid-19 testing plan, reported to cost up to £100billion.

The Prime Minister said he wants to see millions of coronavirus tests being processed daily in order to allow a return of 'normal' life.

While Boris said he would like to see people taking 'pregnancy test' style coronavirus tests that can give results in minutes, the Government have admitted the technology does not yet exist.

Now, Good Morning Britain's resident doctor Dr Hilary, has had his say on the ambitious plans, claiming they are "unachievable".

READ MORE: Boris Johnson confirms tough new restrictions to avoid second lockdown in England

Dr Hilary Jones blasted the Prime Minister's testing plans
Dr Hilary Jones blasted the Prime Minister's testing plans. Picture: ITV

Speaking on the morning show, Dr Hilary said: "We need to know that these tests are as reliable as the ones we're using in test and trace.

"We've got problems with that system already - it would be great if we had a rapid test later on within 20 minutes as to whether they were infectious or not.

"But the technology is not yet there - we need to know that it can be that reliable because it could be misleading and potentially harmful."

The doctor also questioned logistically how all these tests would be processed, saying: "And if we're going to do 10million tests a day, where are all these people going to come from carrying out these tests and processing them in the labs?"

He went on to say: "It is such a huge ask and I don't think many experts believe it is achievable, even by next Spring. It's a massive undertaking.

"We haven't yet got the technology that proves yet that it works and even if we had these tests available at say sporting events where people are screened before they go into the event, the logistics of that are so immense and so mind-blowing.

"At an estimated cost of £100billion to do this a year, the same as we spend, almost, on the NHS in its entirety, which is £135billion."

Boris Johnson's ambitious testing plan aims to see 10 million tests carried out daily
Boris Johnson's ambitious testing plan aims to see 10 million tests carried out daily. Picture: PA

Dr Hilary finished by saying: "It is actually unachievable, I think."

Boris' new testing plan would see more testing across the UK in order "to identify people who are negative", or "who don't have COVID-19 and who are not infectious", so we can "allow them to behave in a more normal way, in the knowledge they cannot infect anyone else".

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