Monday , January 18 2021

A test bug in the UK mistakenly tells 1,300 people they have the coronavirus



More than 1,300 people in the UK have been inaccurately informed that they have been infected with the coronavirus following a laboratory error in the government’s NHS Test and Trace system, Reuters Department of Health and Human Services reported on Saturday.
NHS Test and Trace contacted 1,311 people who were mistakenly told that COVID-19 tests conducted between November 19 and 23 were positive. An issue with a batch of test chemicals meant their results were invalid, “a department spokesman said in an emailed statement.
“Quick action was taken to alert those affected and asked to take another test and continue self-isolation if they had symptoms.”
The statement stated that the lab error that led to the problem was an “isolated incident” and was investigated.
The government announced an additional £ 7bn ($ 9.31bn) for COVID-19 testing and a contact tracking system as part of its expanded mass testing program.
The NHS Test and Trace system has been harshly criticized after a series of high-profile failures since its launch earlier this year, and ministers admit it has not worked as well as expected.
In September, nearly 16,000 positive case records were lost from the system for several days, which resulted in a delay in contact tracing. The government blamed the “old” filesystem for truncating records after around 65,000 lines of data.
Reuters’ analysis and interviews with contact detectors revealed problems with the system, and when looking at contacts outside the household, the percentage that was traced is lower.
There have been around 1.6 million cases of the coronavirus and over 57,500 deaths in the UK, according to Reuters data.

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