Matt Hancock has admitted coronavirus testing will be prioritised for those who need it most after shortages across the country.
Globally, reported coronavirus cases hit 29,576,191 with 935,124 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
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Ministers have been told to call upon university and research laboratories across the UK to tackle the shortage of coronavirus testing.
The laboratories could deliver extra testing alongside the government’s own network.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted coronavirus tests would have to be prioritised for those who need it most.
Mr Hancock said the testing problems could take weeks to sort out.
Responding to an urgent question from from former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, he said: “I think we will be able to solve this problem in a matter of weeks … we are managing to deliver record capacity, but as he well knows demand is also high."
More than one in nine pupils were absent from school last week as unions warned the testing delays were leading parents to keep their children at home.
Reports also emerged of schools sending pupils home after identifying suspected cases of coronavirus.
One union warned of widespread school closures and “a return to lockdown by default”.
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner will step in for Keir Starmer at PMQs today while he remains in self-isolation.
Sir Keir has been isolating “in line with NHS guidance” after a family member displayed symptoms of the disease.
Donald Trump insists he did not downplay the risk of coronavirus despite telling veteran journalist Bob Woodward he did not want to spark “panic" by being upfront about the disease.
The US president said he “up-played” the severity of coronavirus even though at the start of the pandemic he compared it to seasonal flu.