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Plans unveiled to open up coronavirus testing to over 65s

PUBLISHED: 17:35 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:35 28 April 2020

Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock says over 65s with symptoms will be able to get tested Picture: PA Video/PA Wire

Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock says over 65s with symptoms will be able to get tested Picture: PA Video/PA Wire

Coronavirus testing in the UK is to be expanded to a number of different groups including all people aged over 65 who show symptoms, Matt Hancock has announced.

Currently testing is only focusing on those key workers showing symptoms of the virus.

However, speaking on Tuesday afternoon Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said that testing would now be opened up to a number of different groups.

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There will be testing for all care home residents and staff, regardless of whether they have Covid-19 symptoms, and all those aged 65 and over with symptoms and their households, Mr Hancock said.

Workers who have to leave home in order to do their jobs and their households, would be eligible for testing from Wednesday.

Mr Hancock said: “From construction workers to emergency plumbers, from research scientists to those in manufacturing, the expansion of access to testing will protect the most vulnerable and help keep people safe.

“It’s possible because we’ve expanded capacity for testing thus far.”

NHS staff who have not presented symptoms of the virus will also be able to get tested.

As well as announcing further tests Mr Hancock confirmed that deaths of patients in care homes and the community would now also be reported daily, as is the case with those who die in hospital.

The announcements came as the number of people who have died, having tested positive for the disease rose for the first time in three days.

In total 21,678 people have died with 586 of those deaths coming in the last 24 hours, up from 360 the previous day.

Nine of these deaths were reported at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex.

READ MORE: Nine more coronavirus-related deaths recorded in Suffolk and north Essex

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