‘Batch testing’ is reportedly limiting how fast we can roll the coronavirus vaccine out

Boris Johnson has suggested the limiting factor in expanding the UK’s coronavirus vaccine rollout is waiting for batches of the jab to be tested.Batch testingMinisters have said the NHS has the capacity to deliver two million doses a week of the Oxford vaccine once it receives supplies from the manufacturers. The prime minister claims the issue is not supply or staff but waiting for batch approval.He said:We have the capacity, the issue is to do with supply of the vaccine. It’s not so much a manufacturing issue although that’s part of it. Each batch needs to be properly approved and quality controlled. (PA Graphics)Johnson claimed: There’s a massive…

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Education body says the government’s “11th hour” testing plans for schools are “chaotic and rushed”

Support us and go ad-freeHeadteachers could end up working on Christmas Day to put in place “11th hour” plans for the mass Covid-19 testing of students from January, an education sector body has warned.Sam Henson, director of policy and information at the National Governance Association (NGA), said more detail was needed by teachers on how new coronavirus testing systems would be implemented in schools by the new year.His comments came after the government announced secondary school and college pupils’ return to class in England will be staggered in the first week of January to help schools roll out mass testing of students.Schools minister Nick Gibb has said the…

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Mass virus testing plan for students ‘flawed’, warns universities union

A union has told of its “grave concerns” over plans for mass coronavirus testing for students, warning that “flaws” in the government’s approach are a “recipe for chaos”.“Flaws”A seven-day travel window has been announced so students can spend the festive period with their families, with additional testing offered before they depart. Students will be encouraged to take an asymptomatic test at “targeted” universities in England, while teaching will move online by December 9 so they have enough time to self-isolate if needed.But the University and College Union (UCU) said plans appear to have been “rushed” and raised concerns around the accuracy of tests. Earlier this month experts suggested…

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Mass coronavirus testing for Merthyr Tydfil’s residents and workers

Scores of people have turned up at a pilot scheme of mass coronavirus testing in Merthyr Tydfil.Rapid Covid-19 tests are being offered to the area’s residents and workers even if they do not have symptoms, a week after the town registered the highest rate of new cases in the UK.Merthyr Tydfil has since seen the biggest drop in cases in Wales from around 770 cases per 100,000 to now below 260 as the effect of the country’s 17-day firebreak begins to work. A lateral flow immunoassay diagnostic device, which shows the presence of SARS-CoV-2, which is being used on the public in Merthyr Tydfil (Ben Birchall/PA)The test scheme…

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Coronavirus infection rate down from last week as mass testing pilot begins

Hundreds of people have been tested as part of a pilot mass coronavirus (Covid-19) testing programme while new data showed the rate of infections across England and Wales appears to be slowing down.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said an estimated 618,700 people in England – one in 90 – had coronavirus between October 25 and 31, up from 568,100 the week before.But while the infection rate has increased in recent weeks, “the rate of increase is less steep compared with previous weeks”, the ONS said. Testing centresThe latest figures came as queues built up outside new test centres in Liverpool which were opened at midday as part…

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COVID-19 and influenza point of care testing results: how to report

The regulations state that all COVID-19 and influenza positive, indeterminate, negative and void results from point of care testing (POCT) are mandated by law to be reported to Public Health England (PHE). POCT is defined as a diagnostic test that is performed outside of the laboratory setting. This will be set out in amendments to The Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010 (the 2010 Regulations). The 2010 Regulations are also being amended to require that, in addition to positive cases, laboratories must now report indeterminate, negative and void test results to identify the causative agents for COVID-19 and influenza. Who reports The updated regulations will require test providers who…

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Concerns over coronavirus testing kits following supply chain breakdown

Concerns have been raised over the supply of vital testing materials for a range of conditions, including coronavirus (Covid-19), following a supply chain problem with pharmaceutical giant Roche.Significant dropOn 6 October, Roche said it had experienced a “very significant drop” in its processing capacity due to a problem with its Sussex distribution centre, the only one in the UK. It’s been reported that the shortage includes vital reagents, screening kits, and swabs.In addition to providing these chemicals and parts used in coronavirus tests, Roche also provides materials for a wide range of procedures including blood and urine tests, as well as diabetic care. Roche warned the issues with…

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Transparency data: NHS Test and Trace (England) and coronavirus testing (UK) statistics: 10 September to 16 September 2020

Department Of Health ODS, 64KB This file is in an OpenDocument format NHS Test and Trace regional breakdowns 28 May to 16 September 2020: data tables View online Download CSV 23.1KB ODS, 21KB This file is in an OpenDocument format ODS, 14.7KB This file is in an OpenDocument format Details The data reflects the first 16 weeks of operation of NHS Test and Trace in England, and testing operations in the UK since late March.For NHS Test and Trace (England), this includes:Testingpeople tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), England people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), England time taken for test results to become available, EnglandContact tracingpeople transferred to the…

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UK Government local coronavirus testing site opens in Edinburgh

A new walk-through coronavirus testing centre has opened in Edinburgh. The new facility is being provided by the UK Government as part of a UK-wide drive to continue to improve the accessibility of coronavirus testing for local communities.The centre, in the Usher Hall, will offer pre-booked tests for those with coronavirus symptoms.The new site is situated so as to be easily accessible without a car. Those being tested will be required to follow public health measures, including social distancing, not travelling by taxi or public transport, practising good personal hygiene and wearing a face covering throughout, including while travelling to and from the testing centre.Anyone attending an appointment…

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