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Doctors call for return of free Covid tests as infections soar by half a million in a week

HEALTH campaigners have called for an immediate return to free Covid-19 testing today after infections soared by 600,000 in one week to 2.3 million. 

They condemned the government for advising people to take “personal responsibility” to protect themselves and avoid infecting others and said action was needed, including a return to mask-wearing and test and trace.

The alarming figures were released by the Office of National Statistics.

Dr John Puntis, co-chair of the campaign group Keep Our NHS Public, launched a petition for the return of free testing, which gathered 425,000 signatures.

“The current new wave of Covid-19 once again emphasises that we cannot simply rely on vaccination to prevent infection,” he said.

“Standing on the sidelines and talking about personal responsibility is the antithesis of leadership and condemns many more to infection and its sometime devastating consequences.”

He backed the Independent Sage group of scientists in calling for a return to free test and trace, mandatory quality levels for indoor air, a public information campaign and other measures.

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