Government Responds to Testing Mystery

Yesterday the Government announced it had reached the 200,000 testing capacity target a day early, a commendable feat. This includes 160,000 diagnostic (do you have it) tests and 40,000 antibody (have you had it) tests a day. What is less commendable, however, is that for ten days running, the Health Department has said the number of people being tested is ‘unavailable’. The last day the Government published a ‘people tested’ number was 21 May…

While yesterday Robert Jenrick said that 115,725 tests had been carried out, there was no number for how many people had multiple tests. Ten days ago Public Health England admitted that for many diagnostic tests two swabs are taken, one from the mouth and one from the nose. These are being counted as two tests rather than one, reportedly inflating the test numbers by more than 20% above the number of people being tested. The Health Department tells Guido that the numbers for people tested have been “temporarily paused”:

“Reporting on the number of people tested has been temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting across all pillars. This is due to a small percentage of cases where the same person has had more than one test or tested positive more than once for COVID-19 in Pillar 2. Corrections will be made to any figures if they have subsequently been found to have an error.”

Temporarily paused for eleven days so far. How long does it take to ‘ensure consistent reporting’?

mdi-tag-outline Coronavirus Department of Health
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