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Coronavirus at-home checks to be made available

CORONAVIRUS home tests could be made available to people across the country, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced today.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth had asked him about the government’s plans in the event of a pandemic being declared.

He added that Labour was “broadly supportive” and willing to “work constructively” with the government on the issue.

Mr Hancock said 7,132 people in Britain have been tested for coronavirus.

Of these, 13 have tested positive and eight have since been discharged from hospital.

He said: “We now have testing sites at all A&E facilities, as far as we know across England.

“But we’re also planning to introduce home testing and some of this has started already so that people don’t have to go to the pod in front of A&E which have been put there to ensure that people don’t actually go into A&E where they might infect others.”

In calling for a “proportionate” response to the Covid-19 virus that has spread in most parts of the world from Wuhan, China, he added that it was important that people do not overreact as doing so would have economic and social “costs.”

Public Health England medical director Paul Cosford has confirmed that it is not advising that schools shut in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus.

World Health Organisation regional director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge said there were now 80,980 coronavirus cases in 33 countries.

Speaking during a press conference, he said that 96.5 per cent of all cases were reported from China.

Mr Kluge added that there was “no need to panic” as four out of five people who contract the virus recover from mild symptoms.

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