In line with the government’s existing testing strategy, new facilities – known as ‘Megalabs’ – will be incredibly difficult to get to.
The UK government is opening two new Megalabs in 2021 with the aim of doubling the daily coronavirus testing capacity. Sounds good, but obviously there’s a catch.
“The first thing to say is that after the usual unforeseen delays – and ‘unforeseen delays’ is actually quite a large section on the project plan – these facilities will come far too late to help us with coronavirus,” said government scientist Simon Williams.
“That said, they should make the handling of any future epidemics far less of an all you can eat chaos buffet. They will also help with the diagnosis of other diseases like cancer and typhoid, which is set to make a comeback post-Brexit.
“The government has taken on board a lot of criticism this year – so much that it’s now bailing criticism out again with tin helmets. However, it’s keen to make testing sites far more accessible after people have had to travel hundreds of miles to get to their nearest centre.
“A deal with has therefore been made with Megabus to ensure that subjects and samples can be transported to megalabs as slowly and inefficiently as possible.
“If you don’t have bowel trouble you set off, you probably will by the time you’ve spent ten hours holding in a turd while you get there.
“Still, it will only cost a pound to get tested – so swings and roundabouts, eh?”