Britain’s coronavirus testing rate is higher than much of Europe’s but lower than Israel and the US, according to analysis of national figures.
Research by the German data analysts Statista shows nearly 259,284 tests per million population had been carried out in the UK as of Friday.
That is higher than many other European countries also hit hard by Covid-19, including Spain where the testing rate is 213,594 per one million people, Germany (160,267), Italy (158,070) and France (153,134).
According to Statista, Israel tops the international league table with nearly 284,859 tests per one million population. The United States is next with more than 271,543.
However, direct comparisons between countries when it comes to testing can be difficult as figures are sometimes recorded in different ways.
For example some countries report the number of people tested while others record the total number of tests, which will be higher if the same person is tested more than once.
The UK’s figures also include tests sent to people’s homes but not necessarily completed.
Separate research by the Johns Hopkins University in the US looks at positivity rates per capita, which it says “is the most reliable way to determine if a government is testing enough”.
A high rate indicates the government is targeting only sick people and needs to cast the net wider.
The UK had, as of yesterday, a testing positivity rate of 5.13 per cent, below France (20.37 per cent) the US (8.18 per cent), but higher than Spain (4.93), Germany (2.53) and Greece (1.86).
The World Health Organisation has advised that countries or regions should see positive rates below five per cent for 14 consecutive days before restrictions are lifted.