'Very few available' - PCR test shortages hit Suffolk

The Covid drive-through testing centre near the Copdock Interchange in Ipswich is reopening

According to the Government website PCR test availability in Suffolk is listed as "very few available". - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The availability of PCR tests in Suffolk has today reached a low, with "very few available" in the region according to the government's website.

There is also currently no home PCR test availability for the general public or essential workers, which could cause problems in the region as people face a real struggle to get a test.

With the availability of lateral flow tests also an issue, Suffolk appears to be facing a real problem with Covid testing.

MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Dr Dan Poulter said: "A shortage of availability of PCR tests is a matter of concern.

“The situation is not entirely driven by a shortage of testing kits and availability of testing capacity in the country, which is still very strong.

“Part of the issue over the past week or two has been that staff have been coming down with Covid, so there have been staff shortages and there's also been inevitably people wanting to take time off over the Christmas and New Year period.

“I would hope that there will be an urgent effort made to address any staffing challenges that exist, by diverting other staffing resources into the front line of PCR testing.  

“Because it’s exceptionally important that we know whether someone has a confirmed diagnosis of Covid or not so that they can take the necessary precautionary measures to self-isolate and to protect other people.”