09:07 GMT30 November 2020
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    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (286)
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    Days after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from a hospital where he was treated for coronavirus, his spokesman said that the number of COVID-19 tests performed every 24 hours should reach 100,000 by the end of the month.

    A number of UK health experts, namely Julian Peto, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, David Hunter, professor of epidemiology at the University of Oxford, and Nisreen A.. Alwan, an associate professor in public health at Southampton University, have urged the use of a major British city to try out mass COVID-19 testing in an attempt to end the virus lockdown.

    According to the experts, the current lockdown regime could lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of people before a vaccine becomes available. 

    At the same time, the group suggests that a UK city with a population between 200,000-300,000 could be used to trial a mass-testing system.

    “Quarantine would end when all residents of the household test negative at the same time. Everyone else in the city can resume normal life if they choose to. A decision to proceed with national roll-out can then be made. If the epidemic is controlled, hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved, intensive care units will no longer be overloaded, and the effects of lockdown on mental ill-health and unemployment will end,” the group said in a letter to the Lancet journal.

    The publication comes as specialists doubt that the government will be able to reach its declared goal of 100,000 COVID-19 tests daily.

    Medical experts think that the number is too big to handle the demand posed by key workers, who suspect they may have coronavirus, while being too low to be efficient to test the population with the aim of easing the lockdown regime.

    As of Sunday, the United Kingdom has nearly 109,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with the death toll reaching 14,576, according to the World Health Organisation.

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    COVID-19 Puts Nations on Hold (286)
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    National Health Service (NHS), expert, test, coronavirus, COVID-19, U.K
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