Wolverhampton Covid PCR testing lab blunder began a WEEK before officials feared

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  • Nearly 43,000 infected people were wrongly told they were Covid-negative
  • Britain’s Health Protection Agency said, problems started a week earlier than expected
  • But the discovery of the investigation did not change the number of people affected.

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Mistakes in a discredited Covid testing laboratory that falsely told 43,000 people that they were not infected with the virus began a week ago, it emerged today.

About £170 million was given to the Immensa Health Clinic in Wolverhampton to analyze the PCR swabs.

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But last week health chiefs uncovered ‘technical issues’ at the clinic, where workers have been filmed playing football and wrestling in shifts, Saw thousands of tests being processed incorrectly.

The UK’s Health Protection Agency, which took over from the now-closed PHE, said at the time that patients were given false negatives over five weeks between 8 September and 12 October.

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But the agency announced last night that problems in the lab began six days earlier than expected, on September 2.

A UKHSA spokesperson told MailOnline that the exact duration of the laboratory accidents was discovered as part of its ongoing investigation.

But it stressed that the finding does not affect the number of coronavirus swab samples that were processed incorrectly. Health officials claimed that all the affected people have been contacted.

Cases in the Southwest have already reached record highs and more than doubled in a week.

There are concerns that testing error has come at the worst possible time, with daily cases reaching peak-second-wave levels and the UK’s booster program struggling to break out of the mark as the country heads towards a harsh winter. Is.

Immensa Health Clinic in Wolverhampton has been suspended after an investigation revealed it may have processed PCR tests incorrectly. The Lab (pictured) has been paid £120 million by the taxpayer for its services

Employees of the Immensa Health Clinic in Wolverhampton were filmed (pictured) fighting with each other in January.  This was at the peak of the first wave and when the country was under strict lockdown

Employees of the Immensa Health Clinic in Wolverhampton were filmed (pictured) fighting with each other in January. This was at the peak of the first wave and when the country was under strict lockdown

NHS Test and Trace suspended testing operations at Immensa’s laboratory last week And an investigation is underway to find out why it took a month to find the trial error.

The UK Health Protection Agency (HSA) said there were no technical problems with the test kits and that people should continue to test as normal.

HSA chief Dr Jenny Harris said last week that it was not clear what caused the mistake.

Test and trace all contacts who may still be infectious so that they can be advised to undergo another test, while close contacts who are symptomatic are also advised to get tested.

Nearly one in 50 people in England had covid last week

England’s Covid cases have risen to their highest level since mid-January, with almost one in 50 infected with the virus last week, official data showing an imminent fourth wave amid growing fears.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that there were around 977,900 infected in England on any given day of the week until 16 October.

Cases rose 9.88 percent from last week’s figure of 890,000 – the fourth straight week that infections increased.

When modeling the level of Covid infection among different age groups in England, the ONS said rates increased in all age groups except for those aged 25 to 34, where the trend was uncertain.

The percentage of people who test positive ranges from 7.8 percent in school years seven to 11, up from 7.1 percent week-on-week.

Cases are projected to rise in all regions of England except south-east England and the West Midlands, where the level appears to be off, and north-east England and Yorkshire and the Humber, where the trend was uncertain.

In north-west England and south-west England, about 45 people were likely to have tested positive by 16 October. This was the highest ratio for any region.

London and south-east England had the lowest ratio, at around one in 75.

Professor Jim Naismith, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute at the University of Oxford, said: ‘Today’s ONS figures for the week ended 16 October are not good news.

‘These data are the most valuable resources we have for assessing viruses. Day-to-day results are a poor indicator.

‘The power of vaccines can be seen in the very low death and hospitalization rates currently causing this high level of infection.

‘There is evidence of a slight decrease in immunity. Vaccines are extremely effective in preventing deaths and hospitalizations; They are less good at preventing infection.

He continued: ‘Even extremely effective is not perfect. A slight decrease in immunity means that you are protected from the worst disease, but it can lead to an increase in cases.

‘For those offered the booster (third) jab, science shows it’s incredibly effective. I would recommend taking it immediately if it is offered. For those who haven’t done the job the first time, contracting Covid is almost certain if they haven’t already.’

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UKHSA said problems in the laboratory were an ‘isolated event’ and that the number of tests processed by the laboratory is ‘small in terms of the broad network and test availability is unaffected across the country’.

Cases in the Southwest have increased since the errors were made.

The region recorded a total of 35,629 new coronavirus cases in the seven days to October 16 – the equivalent of 629.6 per 100,000 people. This is up from 17,593 cases or 310.9 in the last seven days.

And estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed today that 2.2 percent of people in the region were believed to have the highest level of infections in the country on any day in the seven days until October 16.

Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that he…

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