Councillor Ben Miskell spoke out today against a shortage of lateral flow tests, which he says is putting “lives at risk” and has the potential to “drive up covid infections in South Yorkshire”.
The Sheffield Councillor said: “As a teacher and local councillor, I come into contact with lots of people and like other Sheffielders, I want to keep those around me safe. Today I visited pharmacy after pharmacy listed on the government website and nowhere had lateral flow test kits in stock. It’s a national disgrace”.
He went on to say that he has received complaints from residents about ‘long queues outside some pharmacies, with many people finding themselves disappointed when they get to the front due to limited deliveries from the government’.
Councillor Miskell hit out at government plans this week for daily lateral flow tests for 100,000 critical workers. He says they are a “smokescreen” when “many people, including essential workers like nurses, those who collect our rubbish and children’s social workers aren’t eligible. They have to struggle to find their own lateral flow kits from pharmacies with limited stocks or battle the shambolic government website that says there aren’t any home delivery slots available. Without access to lateral flow testing, there’s a real danger that our city could grind to a halt, as covid infection rates rise”.
Over Christmas it was widely reported that the government’s sole supplier of lateral flow test kits to pharmacies closed, resulting in many families being unable to get hold of the devices whilst covid infection rates were on the rise around the country.