The Ministry of Health and Social Care told Reuters on Saturday that more than 1,300 people in Britain were inaccurately informed that they had contracted the Coronavirus after a laboratory error in the British government’s testing and tracking system.
“NHS Test and Trace contacted 1,311 individuals who were incorrectly told that the result of the COVID-19 tests, taken between November 19 and November 23, was positive. A department spokesperson said in an emailed statement:“ There was a problem with the group Chemical test material means that the test results were invalid. “
“Rapid action was taken to notify those affected and ask them to take another test, and to continue self-isolation if they develop symptoms.”
The statement said that the laboratory error that led to the problem was an “isolated incident” and was being investigated.
The government announced an additional 7 billion pounds ($ 9.31 billion) for the COVID-19 testing and contact tracing system as part of an expanded program for comprehensive testing.
The NHS testing and tracking system has come under fire after a series of high-profile failures since its launch earlier this year, and ministers acknowledge it hasn’t performed as well as they had hoped.
In September, nearly 16,000 positive case records were lost from the system for several days – causing a delay in contact tracing. The government blamed an “outdated” file system for cutting records after about 65,000 rows of data.
Reuters analysis and interviews with contact trackers showed problems with the system, and that when looking at non-home contacts, the percentage that is tracked successfully is lower.
The United Kingdom has recorded about 1.6 million cases of coronavirus and more than 57,500 deaths, according to a Reuters tally
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