Government denies plan to halt rapid coronavirus testing

Sean Morrison
·1-min read
Coronavirus test samples (PA Wire)
Coronavirus test samples (PA Wire)

The Government has denied that it is planning to halt rapid coronavirus testing in England.

The programme was reportedly set to be scaled back due to the growing number of false positives in places where Covid rates are low, such as London.

But a Department of Health spokeswoman has since said there are no such plans, adding that rapid testing is “an essential tool”.

"With around one in three people not showing symptoms of Covid-19, regular, rapid testing is an essential tool to control the spread of the virus as restrictions ease by picking up cases that would not otherwise have been detected," she said, responding to a report in the Guardian.

"Rapid testing detects cases quickly, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, and figures show that for every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out, there is fewer than one false positive result.”

The spokeswoman said regional models were based on too small a sample size to draw conclusions, adding "there are no plans to halt the universal programme".

Britain reported 2,672 new Covid cases on Thursday, government data showed, up slightly from 2,491 on Wednesday but taking the fall over the last seven days to almost 7 per cent compared with a week earlier.

A total of 32.44 million people had received a first dose of a vaccine against coronavirus by April 14 and 8.51 million people had received a second dose.

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