To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test swabs have been sent for analysis overseas since the start of the outbreak of that disease.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
20 October 2020
The vast majority of our tests are processed through the Lighthouse Laboratories and associated laboratories domestically, and only a small proportion of tests have been sent abroad for processing.
In May 2020, 66,648 tests were sent to the United States of America as demand exceeded laboratory network capacity. We have, and continue to, work hard to expand capacity.
Between late August 2020 - 3 October, 271,716 tests were sent to Italy and 126,338 to Germany.
The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) national surveillance study currently sends around 150,000 tests per month to Germany for processing as part their agreement with the testing provider.