As beleaguered Croydon council declared effective bankruptcy on Wednesday afternoon its interim chief executive, Kathryn Kerswell, sent an ominous wake-up-call memo to staff: “Too many of us are still operating like business as usual,” she warned, “and are not facing up to our new reality that we are actually in a financial crisis.”
The methodical drip-drip erosion of council budgets in recent years had maybe inured some to the scale of the challenge now facing the south London borough. Bankruptcy came suddenly, but the origins of the council’s woes go back years, driven by heady dreams of making Croydon a major housing developer, and hampered by a culture of lax financial controls and poor governance:
The lateral flow test bought by the UK government for mass testing in Liverpool, and potentially the whole country, could miss up to half of those who have Covid-19, according to experts.
The government has great expectations of the Innova test, having signed two contracts with the California-based company behind it. Innova told the Guardian it was now shipping more than one million tests a day to the UK.
The Guardian understands the government also hopes to use the test to reduce the length of self-isolation among people identified as the contacts of those with the coronavirus.
Results of an evaluation of the lateral flow tests, which pick up the antigen of the virus from a nose or throat swab or saliva within half an hour, were released by the government on Wednesday. It said they could be used to pick up infection in people with no symptoms:
Urgent preparations are under way across the UK for the rollout of the Covid vaccine, after the momentous news on Monday that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had proven 90% effective. Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, has said the country and the NHS is gearing up for the “most important vaccination programme we’ve done for decades”. But that has raised questions about which organisations inside and outside government will be doing what to speed delivery:
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