Council leader calls for Enfield to get Covid-19 test kits

The leader of Enfield Council has called on the Government to provide mass testing kits to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Nesil Caliskan has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock asking for the kits to be delivered along with funding and resources to allow the council to protect residents against the virus.

Enfield was one of 67 local authorities selected by the Government to receive mass testing kits, in an announcement made by the Department of Health and Social Care on November 10.

But in a letter dated November 27, the council leader told the health secretary the kits had not been delivered.

The council also claimed not to have received any funding or resources to roll out mass testing, or any guidance on which groups should receive the tests first.

Cllr Caliskan wrote: “The lack of any additional funding would cause significant resourcing issues for Enfield Council, as rolling out the tests in the borough is resource intensive. Is the Government able to confirm whether local NHS partnerships, who are under pressure to deliver primary care and vaccines, will be asked to assist with the roll out of the tests?

“Whilst local determination in how the tests will be deployed is welcomed, I urge the Government to provide greater clarity on the settings and priority groups that should be targeted.”

The council says it is working on a plan to deliver the rapid testing kits to 5,000 homecare workers in the borough when they arrive.

Enfield was selected for mass testing after it was initially piloted in Liverpool. The testing scheme is aimed at identifying people who have the virus but do not show symptoms, allowing them to self-isolate and driving down the rate of transmission. It was described by the health secretary as a “vital tool to help us control this virus and get life more normal”.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.

Enfield Independent | News