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Ten million Covid tests a day? This “moonshot” looks off course already

The government’s grandiose gestures are no substitute for competence on the basics

By Philip Ball  

Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

If anything close to normal life is to resume in the absence of a vaccine against coronavirus—and indeed, probably even after that is available—large-scale and effective testing for infection is vital. Only then will hospital staff and care workers know if it is safe for them to go to work, and where to put new patients. Only with a secure testing strategy in place can we hope to avoid further massive disruptions in work and education, to feel safe about traveling (for example with mandatory testing at airports), and to distinguish seasonal sniffles from something potentially much worse.

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