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UK carrying out more COVID-19 tests than any other European country, says PM Boris Johnson

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Copyright AP Photos
Copyright AP Photos
By Euronews
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As he faced a grilling from British lawmakers at PMQs, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK was carrying out more COVID-19 tests than any other European country per 1,000 of the population.


MPs on Wednesday grilled Boris Johnson in the UK parliament's weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) session.

You can watch back footage of the exchange in the video player, above.

MPs quizzed Johnson on a range of topics, including COVID-19 measures. Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner replaced Sir Keir Starmer who is self-isolating after a member of his family developed symptoms of coronavirus.

COVID-19 testing capacity

When questioned by Rayner about citizens who were struggling to get a COVID-19 test in the country, he responded that "we are testing more than any other European country", later adding that this was per 1,000 of the population.

He quoted figures showing testing was higher than in Germany, France and Spain.

He added the government was "delivering exactly what we said we would do" and aimed to carry out 500,000 tests per day by the end of October.

The deputy opposition leader retorted that the country was averaging 62,000 tests per day.

The prime minister said there has been “a huge, huge surge in demand” and urged citizens to follow official guidance.

Coronavirus restrictions in maternity wards

On current NHS COIVID-19 restrictions in maternity wards, which could leave women giving birth alone, Rayner put it to the prime minister that no woman should be "forced" to do this.

The UK leader said she was "entirely right" and that he agrees "birth partners should be able to attend births, that's why we have changed guidance on this".

Effects of coronavirus on aviation industry

Conservative MP Steve Double expressed concern about the future of regional airports which have been affected by the collapse of Flybe — Europe’s largest regional airline.

If "smaller airports close now they will never open again," he said.

Johnson said that while he understood the lawmaker's concerns it would be "wrong of me to make any fiscal (sic) commitment now".

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