British outsourcer Capita working to provide coronavirus testing sites

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated sign is seen in Capita offices in London, Britain, January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – British outsourcer Capita is working with the government to set up coronavirus testing sites and looking at contributing resources to healthcare call centres, it said on Friday.

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the country, Britain is struggling to test people for the virus because of a shortage of capacity, England’s chief medical officer said on Wednesday.

Capita Chief Executive Jon Lewis said the company’s partnership with the government had intensified in recent days.

“We are currently exploring more than 100 situations to support the UK government Covid-19 response with additional services,” it said in a statement.

“This includes contributing resource to healthcare call centres as well as being part of an initiative to set up health testing centres.”

Many staff within the National Health Service (NHS) have not been tested, a major concern for health workers and a cause of mounting criticism of the government’s response.

In some countries, such as South Korea, there are “drive-thru” test centres to screen the population for the virus.

Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Kate Holton

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