Tuesday 5th January 2021

I have been given a box of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test Kits manufactured by Innova. The plan is to self test twice a week (only if asymptomatic) before going into work. The idea is that this will help reduce the spread of C19 among the staff and patient group. Sound good?

498,000 residents in the City of Liverpool were offered testing using the Innova Lateral Flow Device. 25 % of them underwent a Lateral Flow Test from 6 November and up to 9 December. A sample of around 6,000 users received a pair of Lateral Flow and Polymerase Chain Reaction (LFT and PCR) tests. PCR testing is considered the gold standard in testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus

The Liverpool COVID-19 Community Testing Pilot Evaluation Interim evaluation report is available to download here.

The researchers found that the Innova LFT device identified two fifths of the PCR positive cases and potentially two thirds of people with higher viral loads (asymptomatic?), who are more likely to be infectious. This reveals that statements by DHSC that the Innova Lateral Flow test achieves ‘high accuracy’ and ‘78% sensitivity’ are not valid.

Fit for purpose? The UK Government has paid £496 million for these test kits. A sunk investment and potential undeclared conflicts of interest. The pantomine must go on.

Having been given the box there is the expecation that I comply with request to test. It is not 'mandatory' though I suspect nonconformity will be frowned on.


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