Keir Starmer has set out new coronavirus targets for the government to reach on the number of tests conducted daily, of contract tracers to be recruited, and of volunteers to be harnessed.
The Labour leader has been reluctant to put forward a “rival strategy” to that of the government as it would be “the wrong thing to do”. He has promised not to offer “opposition for opposition’s sake”.
But in a new Evening Standard interview today, Starmer laid out specific demands for the government’s handling of Covid-19 – and specifically for a tracking and tracing programme.
Maintaining his focus on how the UK’s coronavirus lockdown will be lifted, or at least see physical distancing restrictions eased, the opposition leader has called on the government to:
- Increase the daily testing target from 100,000 to 250,000
- Increase the target for recruiting contract tracers from 18,000 to 50,000
- Harness the 750,000 people who answered the call to join a ‘volunteer army’ of NHS responders
“Almost every country that has managed to get to the next stage has had testing and tracing as part of the strategy. The UK needs to do that too,” Starmer told the Evening Standard.