Up to 10% of the UK population could be tested for the corona virus each week after local authorities asked local health leaders to use 30-minute saliva equipment through the acceleration of Boris Johnson’s controversial “Operation Moonshot” mass screening program.
In a letter to the Guardian, the director of the NHS Test and Trace asked all public health directors to sign up for one – tenth of their population each week to receive quick end test kits “Fight Against Our Awesome and Important New Leading Corona Virus”.
If granted, this would lead to a huge increase in national testing – up to 5m tests per week at the current rate of about 300,000 so-called PCR tests carried out by clearing the nose and throat per day.
But local health leaders raised serious concerns about the logic challenge and the cost of conducting the tests and finding the contacts of those testing positive. The UK’s corona virus deaths have crossed 300 for the second day in a row, with 24,701 cases and more than 9,500 hospitalized.
Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told parliament that the government had purchased “millions” of saliva tests made by Innova. Johnson Said on October 16th Tests are available to “help control localized eruptions”, but the latest strategy extends beyond saliva testing tests announced for schools, universities and nursing homes.
In the leaked letter, Alex Cooper, director of Quick Tests at the NHS Test and Trace, said: “Every director of public health is entitled to receive the equivalent of 10% of the trials in their population each week.”
With areas under Tier 3 restrictions such as Liverpool and Manchester being given “phase by phase” priority, with the ability to test the entire local population every 10 weeks.
But Cooper said: “Our ambition is to make this technology available to local areas as soon as possible.”
Some local public health directors have already rejected the idea. One said he refused to participate because the tests were “short on scientific support” and his extended staff did not have the capacity to deliver on such a scale. Another, if tested positive, is that it makes no sense to have any proposed support to monitor people’s close relationships.
Saliva tests, also known as lateral flow tests, give results much faster than PCR tests, which in many cases take more than 48 hours to process. They aim to test asymptomatic individuals “to protect those at high risk, detect the virus, stop the spread and implement broader social and economic measures,” NHS Test and Trace told public health directors.
PCR tests are only available to those with Covit-19 symptoms, except for key personnel.
Saliva antigen testing does not require laboratory-based RNA extraction. According to the NHS Test and Trace, they have been clinically verified, but still require functional verification. Accordingly the government has purchased up to 20 20 million in சோதனை 15 tests Reports.
First details of Operation Moonshot Emerged Documents leaked in September showed how private consultants, including Deloitte, are using up to $ 100 billion for mass screening.
Wednesday, academics at universities in Glasgow, St Andrews and Newcastle Warned Its goal of achieving 10m tests daily is to “test 10,000 people a day for false positives, thus causing unnecessary loneliness and hardship for them and their contacts”.
Local officials were asked to show interest in the event by Monday this week. Eugene Milne, director of public health at Newcastle, said he would like to explore the use of screening tests to screen relatives of care home residents across the Northeast UK so visits can be resumed and maintenance workers can work between nursing homes and homes.
However, others are less interested. Greg Fell, director of public health at Sheffield, said: “I’m not going anywhere near that.” It’s an interesting idea, but it’s short on scientific support and has huge logistics challenges. I do not have the ability to do that. We need to focus on presenting things that are scientifically based rather than focusing on things that are not yet established. ”
Another senior director of public health, who did not want to be named, said: “They have come up with a plan for us that is badly thought out. It is not clear what the cost is or the amount of work involved, and there is nothing about contact-tracking.”
NHS Test and Trace, led by Tito Harding, wants local authorities to be responsible for site selection and deployment [lateral flow] Test according to their priorities ”.
Local health leaders should also appoint and train their own staff to carry out the tests, and be responsible for medical ethics. Councils must provide digital notification of positive tests and organize standard PCR swap tests to confirm results.
The anonymous director of public health continued: “If you do not do something with the results, there is no point in testing a large number of people. We really want to improve testing and tracking, but again the wrong way about it.”
This offer comes as the NHS Test and Trace saw its effectiveness It has been getting worse in recent weeks. After last week’s figures, the Prime Minister expressed “frustration” at the system’s shortcomings, and Sir Patrick Valens, the government’s chief scientific adviser, acknowledged that rising cassettes were “slowing down its efficiency”.
A senior public health source, who has called on the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSC) about the project, said the national initiative seems to be moving quickly.
“We don’t know who the contact tracking is or how the workers are [to carry out the tests] Is the source, ”they said. “We are trying to see how this fits in with the testing and trail strategy with the PCR test, how any positive results are followed and how people are being isolated.”
DHSC was contacted for comment.