UK suffers set back as millions of antibody tests developed in China have not worked in the face of Covid-19
John Newton, a prestigious scientist at the head of the NHS has carried out a great number of tests on the population in the hope of allowing the UK to gradually break from confinement. Unfortunately, the professor discovered that 3.5 million testing kits purchased by the Executive have proven to be insufficiently reliable. “The tests developed in China were validated with patients who had suffered severe symptoms of the coronavirus and who had been infected with a high viral load, so they generated many antibodies. We need to perform these tests on a very large population cast comprehensive, including people with mild symptoms. And for that purpose, we need tests that work better than those acquired,” said Newton
The British government announced just two weeks ago that it would soon be available to send millions of kits to UK homes or to make them available at pharmacies. “That idea was based on the assumption that we could simply buy the existing tests, but at this point, we felt it would not be the right thing to do,” Newton acknowledged.
However, they will be able to cancel many of the purchase orders already issued and, “as far as possible, be able to recover the costs.”
The UK has not been the only ones to suffer from this problem. “Spain has been forced to return kits that had not worked. And Germany, which is developing its own tests.”
Some of the kits tested have shown false positives, having been performed in people who had previously been infected by another type of virus that generates the creation of antibodies similar to those produced by the body in response to Covid-19.
At least 8 per cent of NHS healthcare personnel remain in home isolation without knowing whether or not they have been infected with the virus.