In United Kingdom, more than 1,300 people were wrongly told they had coronavirus (COVID-19) due to a lab error with NHS Test and Trace. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 1,311 people who took a test between November 19-23 across the UK were incorrectly told they received a positive result.
It said there was an issue with a batch of testing chemicals, which meant their results were void. A DHSC spokesman said: ‘Swift action is being taken to notify those affected and they are being asked to take another test, and to continue to self-isolate if they have symptoms. This laboratory error was an isolated incident and is being fully investigated to ensure this does not happen again.’
The DHSC did not comment on whether the error affected regional figures of infection rates. Test and Trace has been beset with issues, with figures earlier this week revealing about four in 10 contacts of those who test positive for the virus are still not being reached. The Prime Minister announced an extra £7 billion for Test and Trace in his winter plan on Monday in a bid to increase testing and improve contact tracing. It takes the overall funding provided for Test and Trace this financial year to £22 billion – nearly a fifth of the entire annual NHS budget – which has been met with some criticism.
But the UK Prime Minister Mr Boris Johnson was adamant the system provided ‘value’ for money although admitted there had been ‘teething problems’. Britain recorded 16,022 new coronavirus cases today and 521 deaths, as infections continue to fall sharply and fatalities plateau. Today’s infections mark a 20.9 per cent fall on the 20,252 last week and an 8.7 per cent drop from yesterday’s 17,555.
The lab error come as Boris Johnson imposed brutal lockdowns on nearly 99 per cent of England as he unveiled the new Tiers — despite fury at the ‘vague and inconsistent’ rules being used to decide who faces curbs. Just 700,000 people – one per cent of the population – will be subject to the loosest grade of restrictions. Before November 5 there were 29million in the lowest tier.
Meanwhile, around 55million residents will be in the toughest two levels after the blanket national lockdown ends on December 2. Despite placing almost everyone in England under tough curbs, health officials have refused to reveal the exact thresholds behind making the decisions, meaning local officials will be left in the dark about how much they need to squash their outbreak in order to escape the restrictions.