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Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister for Local Government (Communities), Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's eligibility criteria are for covid-19 testing.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

As we have moved from ‘contain’ and into the ‘delay’ phase of COVID-19, Public Health England, together with NHS England and the Department, has agreed we will need to prioritise testing for those most at risk of severe illness from the virus.

Most adults in good health who develop symptoms will fully recover, and the Chief Medical Officer has advised that we need to prioritise testing to those who have the greatest clinical need.

Tests will primarily be given to:

- all patients in critical care for pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or flu like illness;

- all other patients requiring admission to hospital for pneumonia, ARDS or flu like illness; and

- where an outbreak has occurred in a residential or care setting, for example long-term care facility prisons.

We are also seeking testing capacity to extend to National Health Service staff who are symptomatic.

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