DAILY coronavirus testing capacity reached 200,000 on Saturday, meeting the target to reach the milestone by the end of May, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
The Department of Health said the increased coronavirus testing capacity, which stood at 205,634 on Saturday, would support the rollout of the NHS Test and Trace system to control the spread of the illness.
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Mr Hancock added: "Reaching our 200,000 capacity target is an important milestone on our journey to control the spread of the virus, save lives and gradually ease lockdown.
"By rapidly expanding our testing capacity, we have been able to introduce NHS Test and Trace, and enabling those who have coronavirus symptoms to get a test is an important part of the programme.
"I want to thank and pay tribute to the incredible team who joined together in one of the greatest national mobilisations that we've seen.
"We brought together the best minds in the civil service, NHS, PHE, universities and the scientific community, the armed forces and private sector companies across the globe to reach this incredible achievement."
The Department of Health said the 200,000 testing capacity was reached through three main streams.
The first is through diagnostic tests via home testing kits, drive-through sites, and mobile testing units dealt with by laboratories, with capacity currently at more than 112,000.
Antibody testing, currently offered to NHS staff and care workers around the UK to determine if anyone has had the virus, adds another 40,000 to the capacity.
Finally the remaining capacity comes from surveillance testing, which was launched to determine how the virus moved through the population.
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