The coronavirus has taken a toll on millions of lives around the world. The number of cases reported depends upon the number of tests conducted. A laboratory in the UK has shared some concerns about this testing facility. Almost 30,000 void tests were found after the swabs were sent to the US. The Randox Laboratory is a privately run facility in Northern Ireland. The laboratory some technical issues due to which they could not conduct the coronavirus tests.
A batch consisting of 67,000 swabs was sent to a laboratory in the US. There were 29,500 void tests in the batch. Reports came in May that the authorities sent 50,000 coronavirus tests to a foreign country. There was an issue in the processing of tests in the UK. Another 17,000 tests were sent to a laboratory in the US and 29,500 of the total tests returned void.
The samples of the coronavirus patients need to be tested within 72 hours. Further delay can cause false results of the tests. Hence, people with coronavirus symptoms will be left confused if they have an infection or not.
The health officials found that the 67,000 tests were not done in the UK due to decreased capacity. The tests were sent to the US for over ten days in May. These tests were sent to a university laboratory of the US on the east coast. The sample swabs came back after a few days with nearly half of the tests reported void.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, they did enough effort to get all the people tested in a difficult situation. It worked for a lot of cases and they are grateful for the efforts of the team at the laboratory.
The health officials said that they have recovered the testing facility in the UK during this time. Those who received void tests will send their samples again for the coronavirus test.
On Thursday, the public health director at Sandwell council, Lisa McNally said that it was surprising for her to see the ease in lockdown before the UK returned to its full testing capacity. She also warned that the situation in the UK can worsen like before with an increased number of cases. She was concerned that if they could not timely trace all the coronavirus test samples, it can lead to many deaths due to the virus.
Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that the government will work to get all the coronavirus tests within 24 hours so that they have accurate results. However, for some areas, there are problems such as postal tests which will take longer than that.
Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary said that it is necessary to conduct tests within 4 hours for the government.
Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) for the government said that the laboratories will need the coronavirus test samples within 24 hours. The tracing system of the government can only succeed if the patients isolate themselves in 48 hours. The results of the tests usually come within 48 hours.