We were looking for a package of lateral flow tests in the south of Manchester – here’s how we got on

Anyone with symptoms of Coronavirus is encouraged to take a test.

Or those hoping to visit nightclubs are asked to take one before heading out if they have not had both jabs.

But after concerns about the availability of lateral flow tests for the home across the country, I wanted to see how easy it actually was to grab some for myself.

On the way out to Didsbury, one of Manchester’s many ‘covid blackspots’, with cases at a rate of 2,663 per. 100,000 people per. 24. December.

READ MORE: No PCR drive-through test available AGAIN as pressure rises on government to increase capacity

But despite fears of rising case numbers and the Omicron variant, I completely managed to get my fingers in some test today, December 30th.

This is despite the fact that the UK Health Safety Agency has announced that eight million sets will be made available to pharmacies ahead of New Year’s Eve.



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Some pharmacies even told me they might not see a delivery of more lateral flow tests until next Tuesday.

My first stop was Sterling Pharmacy in West Didsbury – where I was greeted with a sign on the door apologizing that they were out of lateral flow testing.

‘Sorry, we are not in stock of Covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests today,’ it read.



Sterling Pharmacy in West Didsbury, where I was greeted with a sign on the door apologizing that they were out of lateral flow tests.

A pharmacist inside indicated that they may not have more tests to give until at least next week, and suggested it could be Tuesday, January 4th.

For many, lateral flow testing has become part of everyday life, whether for work or to protect families.

But combined with fears of growing Omicron cases, this has increased the demand for test kits.

A pharmacist said demand in Didsbury and south Manchester had worsened after it was named a Covid black spot – meaning cases are over 1,600 per capita. 100,000.

She said: “This increase in demand started a few weeks before Christmas because of all the concerns surrounding rising cases and Omicron.

“Didsbury was one of the worst affected areas in Manchester, so more people wanted to keep being tested.

“We place an order every day, so we expect another delivery tomorrow, but they will go very fast.”

I failed to get any tests at Didsbury Pharmacy on Wilmslow Road, which also had a sign clearly taped to the door telling people they were all out of the tests.



A pharmacy employee said the increase in cases locally had caused the rising demand

The scenes were much the same a little further down Wilmslow Road at Boots Pharmacy.

Again, the same sign that told people they were out of Covid testing was pasted on the doors and on the screens inside.

A worker told me that even though samples are ordered and delivered by courier every day, they usually go ‘within a few hours’.



The boots on Wilmslow Road had run dry by noon today

A leading scientist has warned that it is “very worrying” that a lack of Covid-19 testing could lead to people interfering over the New Year without being able to see if they are contagious.

Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the Advisory Group on Emerging and New Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag), said the conditions on New Year’s Eve were “perfect” for spreading coronavirus.

The UK government is struggling to secure supplies of tests from around the world to meet an increase in demand while people try to comply with the guidelines to limit the spread of the Omicron variant.

There have also been growing concerns about the logistical problems of delivering them to the areas most in need of these tests.

So now a number of people have started selling the test kits for a premium online – for as much as £ 100.

But on the government’s website, there were per. December 30 no lateral flow home test kit left to be ordered for my house.



This is the message I was met with online when I was trying to order a test kit

That means my only option was to keep trying pharmacies in the hopes that some still had samples left.

As I continued my mission to get my fingers in a pack of tests, it quickly became clear that it would be fruitless.

I walked down to Lloyds Pharmacy, part of Barlow Medical Center, and was immediately greeted by the same sign telling me they were sold out.



The government has promised millions of tests by New Year

And a little further down the road, at the Tesco pharmacy, a worker told me that they expect deliveries every day, but that the demand is so high that they quickly run out.

I was out for over an hour, and despite a trip to five pharmacies, I still hadn’t managed to grab any test packs, so I went home.

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