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Letter: I Gave Up Trying to Get A Covid Test

Published on: 12 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 12 Sep, 2020

From: Name and address supplied

In response to: Coronavirus Cases Up Slightly Again in Surrey While Pandemic Grows Once More Across UK

As someone with Covid symptoms and in the vulnerable age group, I tried to book a test. Alas, in vain.

The online system states no sites available and no home testing kits available either.

So I tried the 119 phone line. Also in vain. After a long wait, I was informed to ring back later.

I tried both systems several times before giving up.

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Responses to Letter: I Gave Up Trying to Get A Covid Test

  1. Anthony Mallard Reply

    September 12, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    I can’t believe that your correspondent had difficulty in obtaining a COVID test. Our politicians assure us that all in the area of test, track and trace is working well and is apparently the best service in the world. Indeed, it is intended to scale up the availability and to provide alternative tests that offer the opportunity even quicker results than at present.

    Surely, the politicians can’t be wrong or be dissembling – can they?

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    September 14, 2020 at 7:22 am

    I had symptoms, and also had major issues booking a test. The website kept hanging. I finally got through and was offered a test in Norwich, then Swindon.

    I finally got through on 119, and got a test for the following day in Camberley. I guess they are just overwhelmed.

  3. Sue Fox Reply

    September 14, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    There seems to be an assumption that everyone has a car. So what happens if you haven’t got a car? Is it just “tough”? Or is this yet another dodgy algorithm?

    In discussion with a friend, we wondered why pharmacists couldn’t either supply self-testing kits or do the tests. In the case of the former, a friend could deliver and return it to the pharmacy who could forward to the appropriate point. After all, they do flu jabs.

    Editor’s note: We asked SCC about tests for those without cars. They said, before testing capacity had become a general issue, that home-delivered test-kits and mobile testing would cover those cases.

  4. Ben Paton Reply

    September 14, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    In my experience, the testing system just does not work.

    We tried for a week to get an appointment/registration number, both online and by telephone. All efforts were met with the response that there were no available slots.

    On Saturday we listened to some members of the public reporting their experience of the testing system. A couple of people on Radio 4 reported that they had got tests by just showing up at a test centre.

    So we tried that. There was almost no queue at all at the Onslow Park & Ride Testing Centre. Clearly there was no capacity shortage there. But a polite lady told us they could not offer any tests and said that the reason was that the test laboratories were overwhelmed.

    If that’s true it was at least honest. If the government had told us that we would have known where we stood. But instead, we get propaganda.

    It is scandalous that taxpayers are funding this non-existent “service”.

  5. Valerie Thompson Reply

    September 16, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Someone I know paid for a private test to ensure his child was not off school. It came back negative in 24 hours. Why on earth can one not just phone a testing centre and get a booking when they are empty? The system is mad!

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