April 1, 2020 / 12:30 PM / 2 months ago

Britain working with industry on reagent shortage: PM's spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government is working with industry to address a shortage of chemicals required for coronavirus testing kits to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday.

“We’ve been working with industry throughout but as the chief medical officer and the deputy chief medical officer have both set out, there is a global demand for reagents. But it is clear from industry that they are working as hard as they can to support the NHS (National Health Service),” the spokesman told reporters.

Addressing concerns that Britain is lagging other countries in introducing a large-scale testing regime, the spokesman said: “A clear instruction has been issued that where there is capacity available it should be used on testing frontline staff and we expect that to happen.”

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Alistair Smout

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