Britain’s largest testing lab has been hit with an outbreak of coronavirus after staff members had claimed it failed to follow safety procedures.
It has been revealed that three out of the four scientific teams at the Milton Keynes Lighthouse Laboratory in Buckinghamshire have reported cases of Covid-19.
It was in this lab that the first record of the new more transmissible strain of coronavirus was reported back in September, according to Public Health England.
It is understood that administrative and warehouse staff have also reported cases and 20 of a 70-person lab team, they are isolating, according to a staff member who wished to remain anonymous. The same worker claimed that there was staff mixing in the building’s canteen and lobbies as well.
The outbreak threatens to strain the lab’s ability to keep up with rising demand for testing after it was asked to process 70,000 tests a day this could hamper the UK’s mass testing programme significantly.
Staff at the Lighthouse Labs have given up Christmas in order to work 12-hour shifts in what the source described as “cramped working conditions” at the Milton Keynes laboratory, which is based at the UK Biocentre.