Testing Ourselves to Death
It’s believed that the government is expected to make changes to testing rules today, meaning those who test positive on lateral flow tests will no longer need a follow-up PCR to begin their isolation period if they do not have symptoms.
“We don’t actually collect that data on a daily basis, but it’s obvious if you look at how many people tested positive yesterday, about 215,000, that they’ll all be self-isolating,” health minister Gillian Keegan said.
Government sources said lateral flow tests are “highly effective” and testing capacity needs to be prioritised.
The Government may believe they are highly effective but many studies and professionals, including Voice of Wales belief that the tests within themselves are flawed. Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and studies from a recent Cochrane Review, which combined the results of multiple studies assessing the accuracy of LFTs, found that the average sensitivity of such tests was 72% among people with COVID-19 symptoms, and 58% for people without symptoms. This would mean that in for every 100 people infected with COVID-19 who had symptoms, only 72 of them would test positive on a LFT.
At the moment, people without symptoms who test positive on a lateral flow are asked to order a PCR test and to only begin their isolation period when they get the second result.
Meanwhile, ministers are also expected to announce that pre-departure testing will no longer be required for travellers returning to the UK.
Changes to come in on Wednesday.