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Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)


The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers), May 21, 2020
Posted: June 29th, 2020
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-diseas...

Tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests have been double-counted in the Governments official tally, public health officials have admitted. Diagnostic tests which involve taking saliva and nasal samples from the same patient are being counted as two tests, not one. The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England each confirmed the double-counting. This inflates the daily reported diagnostic test numbers by over 20 per cent, with that proportion being much higher earlier on in the crisis before home test kits were added to the daily totals. Almost 350,000 more tests have been reported in Government data than people tested since the start of the pandemic. It is not the first time the Government has been caught massaging the testing data. It was accused last month of including thousands of home tests which had been posted but not completed in a bid to reach its target of 100,000 tests. Jon Ashworth MP, Labours Shadow Health Secretary, said: Ministers have already received an embarrassing slap on the wrists for their dodgy spin on testing figures. It seems they havent learnt their lesson. The Government announced at the beginning of May that it would be extending its target from 100,000 tests per day to 200,000 tests per day. But so far it has only hit the 100,000 target nine times in the 20 days since its introduction. Global health experts said the Government should stop fixating on its arbitrary targets and instead focus on making testing work to drive down Covid-19 infections in the UK.

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