1,300 people in UK erroneously told about infection

Reuters
Over 1,300 people in Britain were inaccurately informed they were infected with coronavirus after a laboratory error at the government's NHS Test and Trace system.
Reuters

Over 1,300 people in Britain were inaccurately informed they were infected with coronavirus after a laboratory error at the government’s NHS Test and Trace system, the Department of Health and Social Care said on Saturday.

“NHS Test and Trace has contacted 1,311 individuals who were incorrectly told that the result of COVID-19 tests, taken between November 19 and November 23, were positive. An issue with a batch of testing chemicals meant their test results were void,” a department spokesman said in an emailed statement.

“Swift action was taken to notify those affected and they have been asked to take another test, and to continue to self-isolate if they have symptoms.”

The laboratory error that led to the problem was an “isolated incident” and was being investigated, the statement said.

The government has announced an extra 7 billion pounds (US$9.31 billion) for its COVID-19 testing and contact tracing system as part of an expanded program of mass testing.

The NHS Test and Trace system has been heavily criticized after a series of high-profile failures since its launch earlier this year, and ministers concede it has not performed as well as they had hoped.

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