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COVID-19: Government denies plans to cut rapid coronavirus testing amid concerns over false positives | UK News

The government has denied plans to cut rapid coronavirus testing after reports claimed senior officials were concerned about false positives.

Ministers have spent billions of pounds to make lateral flow testing (LFT) widely available across the country, with Boris Johnson urging everyone in England to take two a week.

But senior advisers fear that 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in areas with low COVID rates like London, reports The Guardian.

The emails seen by the newspaper claim to show one of the Health Secretary Matt HancockThe company’s advisers are insisting that “fairly urgent decisions” be made on “the point at which we stop offering asymptomatic testing.”

But a government spokeswoman insisted that rapid tests “are an essential tool in controlling the spread of the virus as restrictions ease.”

She added: “Rapid tests detect cases quickly, which means positive cases can be isolated immediately, and the numbers show that for every 1,000 lateral flow tests performed, there is less of a false positive result. . “

According to reports, the executive director of strategy at the Department of Health Ben Dyson says that in London, or COVID-19[female[feminine infections are low, a positive LFT result is at best 25% accurate – and at worst 2% accurate.

It is less likely to be accurate if the test is self-administered, he said.

Professor John Simpson, head of the public health advisory team at Public Health England, said he was “a little concerned” about the “evidence needed to justify the extension of testing in the way proposed”.

Overvoltage test
People line up for a mobile test site in south London

The effectiveness of rapid LFT tests has been debated for months, with some experts saying the government only approves them because they invested in billions of them earlier in the pandemic.

Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at the government committee SAGE, …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-16 01:26:00