The UK Government's website for coronavirus testing for essential frontline workers has crashed within hours of being active on Friday, April 24. As a response to the coronavirus outbreak, the government decided to provide the key workers, which include the NHS staff and social care staff, a method to get themselves tested for the coronavirus directly.
The government website was planned for getting the 10 million key workers and the members of their household tested for the coronavirus. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock had revealed the plans to expand the testing capability in the country. This would also include a daily allowance of 1,000 kits, with swabs and instructions.
The website went live on 9 AM local time on Friday but the stock for the testing kits ran out within hours of going live. People have been expressing their disappointment through social media as they tried to log in and was greeted with an error message. Some workers were able to get into the site before it crashed will receive the swab kit by the end of tomorrow and after two days of the test, they will receive the result.
Alternative methods to the website
The swab test involves taking samples from the back of the throat and from the nose. The instructions state that the swabs can be administered by the patient themselves or someone else. An alternative to the site has been the drive-through centres in the UK. The government is planning on opening up several other sites in the UK.
Mobile testing sites are also being developed. The government requested the people to stay indoors during the coronavirus lockdown. The people with emergency work, for an hour's exercise, or to go shopping for food or medicine shall be permitted to go out. People with coronavirus symptoms are requested to stay in and self-isolate.
Social media response to the crashed website
The site allows for a test slot for the essential workers to be tested. The site was announced by the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Thursday, April 23. But, on Friday upon trying to open the website the people encountered the message: "Coronavirus test: applications closed. You can't currently register for a COVID-19 test. Please check back here later." It also said, "If you need any information and advice on COVID-19, read our pages on coronavirus."
The site is said to be open for nurses, teachers, firefighters, police, delivery drivers and communication workers. A health desk has been established to ease the process for the essential workers. According to reports government sources said that the demand was the reason for the closure for the site. It was a positive sign according to the reports.