Stop coming to A&E to get a coronavirus test, hospital pleads

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: NNUH

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: NNUH - Credit: Nick Butcher

Doctors are urging people to stop turning up at a hospital’s emergency department to get a coronavirus test.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said it was seeing an increasing number of people arriving at A&E asking for a test, as problems with the system continue.

It reminded anyone with symptoms to stay at home and book a test online instead.“You will not be tested if you turn up at the emergency department and your actions risk spreading the virus,” a spokesman added.

People have been struggling to book tests all month, despite testing centres being empty, because of a lack of lab capacity.

The desperation to get a test has also seen people trying to game the system by putting in postcodes in Scotland and Wales to generate a QR code, which they then use at a test centre near them.

In Bolton, where there is an outbreak, more than 100 people turned up at the hospital’s A&E trying to get a test.

The hospital said it showed the test and trace system was failing.

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The government has admitted the system faces problems which will take weeks to fix, but has defended its record by saying that a record number of tests are being done.

It has blamed the problems on a surge in demand for tests as children return to school, as well as people with no symptoms seeking tests.

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The symptoms are a high temperature, new and continuous cough and a loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

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