18th November 2021
Speaking in the House of Commons on behalf of the government on November 17, Health Minister Gillian Keegan praised Randox’s 40 years of experience in testing and diagnostics. She confirmed to the House that as early as March 2020, Randox already had lab-based PCR testing capacity for Covid-19.
Recognising the imperative of testing as a weapon against the pandemic and facing a shortage of proven testing capacity, she said “the Government had made the common sense decision to work with companies that had existing diagnostic capability.”
The Minister continued: “The initial challenge that (Randox) faced was the challenge facing governments the world over: a shortage of machinery and transport. Nonetheless, it quickly overcame them to play a critical role in our pandemic response.”
She also confirmed that in June 2020, Randox was ahead of all other labs in process, plans, and reporting. A six-month-extension was agreed in September 2020, and by March 2021 Randox was exceeding contract targets, processing more than 120,000 tests in a single day.
Keegan said to date, that Randox has carried out over 15 million tests for Covid-19, and identified over 700,000 positive cases. “That is 700,000 people who might otherwise have gone on to spread the disease,” She continued: “As a result of this testing capacity, they received the right advice to isolate, thereby protecting their friends, their family and society at large.”
Her recognition of Randox’s crucial role in combatting the pandemic at its height was echoed by Maggie Throup MP, Minister for Vaccines and Public Health, who said that working with Randox was a decision which had “saved many thousands of lives”.
She told the House: “contracts with companies such as Randox have been some of the essential building blocks without which we would never have built what is now one of the largest testing networks in the world.”
Throup said she “utterly rejected” the idea that Randox had received any kind of special treatment.
“Our partnership with Randox is simply a reflection of the situation in which we found ourselves in March 2020”, she clarified, “facing a global pandemic of unknown and unprecedented proportions and acting as a responsible Government should. We worked against genuine fears that we would run out of vital testing equipment, that we would not have the capacity to test people and that the deadly virus might continue to spread from person to person, silent and undetected.”
“Working with Randox was the right thing to do, it was the responsible thing to do and, quite simply, it was a decision that has saved many thousands of lives”, she told MPs.
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