Coronavirus tests: result of 100k-a-day pledge will not be revealed this week | World news

The government will be unable to reveal the results of its own 100,000-a-day Covid-19 testing pledge until next week because of a time lag in getting the findings back, according to No 10.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, made his commitment on 2 April to reach the target by the end of the month and he has said he is still on target to hit the figure despite increasing uncertainty.

Figures show 29,000 tests were carried out in the latest 24-hour period of data available to the government. This does not include tests carried out over the weekend.

It has emerged that the government does not expect to be able to release accurate figures on 30 April as to whether the 100,000 target had been reached.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “We’re not going to be able to tell on Thursday of this week whether or not we met the 100k target. It will take a little while longer for that to be clear.

“The home-testing kits, they can take up to 72 hours to get the results and therefore show up in the numbers.

“It will be apparent and you will rightly be able to judge us on whether we’ve met that target but I don’t think that will be possible, certainly not on Thursday and I think it will be difficult on Friday as well.

“We are working very hard to increase capacity. We’re trying our best to get as many people tested as possible.”

On Monday, 10,000 home-testing kits were ordered from the government’s website within an hour and 18,000 people had booked slots at other testing sites.

Of the 53,892 a day testing capacity in the country, 17,939 tests were carried out by the NHS, Public Health England and laboratories in Scotland and Wales, and 11,119 at drive-through sites as of 9am on Friday 25 April.

Updated figures on the number of deaths in care homes from earlier in the month will be released on Tuesday.

Hancock told Monday’s daily press conference that the UK’s capacity for testing was now higher than South Korea, which used a test and trace strategy to flatten the curve and did not opt for a lockdown.

“It’s important to note that we’ve already gone past the number of tests per day that they carry out in South Korea. We’re approaching the levels Germany undertakes,” he said.

The government has been repeatedly criticised for not rolling out mass testing much earlier on in the pandemic. South Korea can test around 20,000 people a day and Germany can test up to 800,000 a week, though typically it has tested 450,000 per week. Hancock’s comment that the UK is approaching German levels of testing will only be borne out if they hit his 100k-a-day target, and it is sustained over a week.

When it came to details of where Britain is in terms of leaving the “phase one” coronavirus strategy and if it is close to reaching any of the self-imposed five tests to get out of lockdown, the PM’s spokesperson said there would be information in the coming days.

However, he confirmed the country was moving “through the peak” of the virus’s spread.

Boris Johnson said outside Downing Street that he would share information with the public in the next few days.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is also due to discuss specific loans for businesses under threat because of coronavirus in a statement to the Commons later on Monday.

For the first time, a member of the public will be able to ask a question at the daily press conference alongside journalists. Questions will be submitted to the website and then pre-selected by the polling firm YouGov, which is overseeing the process. There are no plans to reduce the number of media questions.

Johnson’s offer – mentioned in his speech – of involving opposition party members in the coronavirus response will not involve a formal political alliance or jobs for opposition politicians, but regular conversations with opposition MPs will continue. His spokesperson also ruled out a government of national unity.

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