POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

UK testing error wrongly tells 1,300 people they have coronavirus

Christian Fernsby |
Over 1,300 people in Britain were inaccurately informed they were infected with coronavirus after a laboratory error at the government's NHS Test and Trace system, the Department of Health and Social Care told Reuters on Saturday.

Article continues below




"NHS Test and Trace has contacted 1,311 individuals who were incorrectly told that the result of coronavirus tests, taken between Nov. 19 and Nov. 23, were positive. An issue with a batch of testing chemicals meant their test results were void," a department spokesman said in an emailed statement.

"Swift action was taken to notify those affected and they have been asked to take another test, and to continue to self-isolate if they have symptoms." The laboratory error that led to the problem was an "isolated incident" and was being investigated, the statement said.

The government has announced an extra 7 billion pounds ($9.31 billion) for its coronavirus testing and contact tracing system as part of an expanded programme of mass testing.

The NHS Test and Trace system has been heavily criticised after a series of high-profile failures since its launch earlier this year, and ministers concede it has not performed as well as they had hoped.

In September, nearly 16,000 positive case records were lost from the system for several days causing a delay in contact tracing.

The government blamed a "legacy" file system that cut off records after about 65,000 rows of data.


What to read next

Watchdog investigating 'serious data breach' on UK MP staff
Ghosn claims innocence in first appearance since November arrest
Ukrainian plane crash: Iran admits it unintentionally shot it down