More than 1,300 people in the UK have been notified of a coronavirus infection following a laboratory error on the government’s NHS testing and tracking system, the Department of Health and Welfare told Reuters on Saturday.
“The NHS Test and Trace contacted 1,311 individuals who were wrongly told that the results of the Covid-19 tests performed between 19 and 23 November were positive. The problem with the batch of test chemicals meant that their test results were invalid, “a department spokesman said in an e-mail statement.
“We have acted swiftly to inform those affected, and they are being asked to take another test and continue to isolate themselves if they have symptoms.”
The laboratory error that caused the problem was a “lone incident” and was under investigation, the statement said.
The government has announced an additional £ 7 billion ($ 9.31 billion) for its Covid-19 testing and tracking system as part of an expanded mass testing program.
The NHS Test and Trace system has been heavily criticized for a series of high-profile failures since its introduction earlier this year, and ministers acknowledge that it did not work as well as they had hoped.
In September, almost 16,000 positive cases were lost from the system for a few days – causing a delay in tracking contacts. The government blamed the “legacy” file system for this, which cut off records after about 65,000 types of data.
Reuters analysis and interviews with contact followers have shown problems with the system and that the proportion we successfully trace in finding non-household contacts is lower.
About 1.6 million coronavirus cases and more than 57,500 deaths have been reported in the UK, according to Reuters.