Isle of Dogs woman has been waiting 18 days for Covid home test kit to arrive
- Credit: PA/Wire
Workers with Covid symptoms are facing huge delays to find out if they are positive for the virus, it was claimed today, Monday, September 28.
According to the latest government figures it takes an average of 75 hours for someone who takes a home test to get their result.
Human resources worker Erin Burns, who lives on the Isle of Dogs, ordered a home test when she started having Covid symptoms two weeks ago.
It was due to arrive on September 10 but is still showing as “stuck in transit” when she tries to track it.
“I called the 119 helpline at 3pm Friday [September 11] and was advised they couldn’t track where the test was, or what had happened to it.
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“The call handler suggested that perhaps the ‘van has broken down’, but delivery was Amazon’s responsibility and they couldn’t do anything.
“I was told to wait until 7pm and then order another test if it hadn’t arrived or call back if I couldn’t do so.
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“I re-contacted the NHS when 7pm passed and the test did not arrive. They advised they were unable to track the test or book another over the phone.
“I then gave them another ring on Saturday. The person I spoke to this time said I should contact Amazon directly as it wasn’t the NHS’s problem if my test hadn’t arrived and he was sick of being blamed for things that weren’t his fault.
“I had been going into the office four days a week since July so really wanted to be able to get the results and give my work a definitive answer. You cause unnecessary worry with a ‘maybe’, but if it had been a positive it would have been important people had that information.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Thousands of tests are taking place every day across London’s dozens of sites and it would be wrong to suggest otherwise.
“NHS Test and Trace is providing tests at an unprecedented scale – 225,000 a day on average over the last week – with the vast majority of people getting tested within six miles of their home.
“We are targeting testing capacity at the areas that need it most, including those where there is an outbreak, and prioritising at-risk groups.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said the council had written to the government to demand more testing capacity as cases continue to rise in east London, putting the area at risk of local lockdowns.
“Looking online when trying to book a test on the government website you are simply told ‘this service is currently very busy’ and to ‘try again in a few hours,” he said.
“This is totally unacceptable and undermines all our work in encouraging residents to get tested. If residents think they have the virus they are now left in a very difficult position. We are particularly worried about the impact on keyworkers and as a very diverse area we are concerned that the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 could hit our community hard. Headteachers and parents are concerned about the impact on school attendance. We need the government to take steps now to support our schools who are on the frontline.”
It comes as the NHS Test and Trace system shows 19,278 new people tested positive for the virus between September 10-16 – almost three times the number at the end of August.