Covid testing chaos as surge in colds sees spike in people getting checked

Official figures show that the number of people having Covid tests now is at its highest since a spike during the European Championships, and it is normal with the arrival of autumn

There has been a surge in people going for Covid tests due people catching colds

Brits are facing longer waits for Covid test results due to demand as so many people are coming down with normal cold symptoms, it is reported.

An increase in the numbers of people having common colds has led many more to go and get a Covid test.

Official figures from local test sites show that the numbers of swabs being received are the highest since July when there was a surge during the European Championships.

During the period from September 16 to 22 there were 800,000 tests taken place while four weeks before that the figure was a little over 500,000.

It means that the average number of test results returned within 24 hours has dropped from 87.3% to 75%, reported the Telegraph.

Figures for people going for Covid tests are at their highest since the European Championships when there was a surge


AFP via Getty Images)

This is now significantly below the 100% of results back in 24 hours that Boris Johnson promised in June last year.

Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading said that it is logical that more testing is happening now in autumn due to generally more bugs similar to Covid being caught.

He told the Telegraph : “Given that the symptoms are similar, it’s reasonable to expect that people will seek out a PCR test, indeed it’s the responsible thing to do as ignoring symptoms would just mean greater spread of the virus, increasing the chance of restrictions being placed on all of our lives.

“As most of the adult population are now vaccinated, we are likely to expect any Covid-19 infection to be in the milder end of the spectrum.”

It is normal for there to be an increase in common colds and flu symptoms during the autumn and winter and this will have been intensified with people’s immune systems weakened by the lockdown and social distancing.

With fewer possibilities of picking up infections it means that now people will be more exposed.

Last year the usual winter flu outbreak never really arrived while there was also less spreading of rhinovirus, which is the common cold.

There are many reports now of a super cold called the respiratory syncytial virus which is spreading quickly especially amongst children.

It is very contagious and yet people’s immune systems are not as well prepared as normal to fight it off.

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