Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 3rd February 2021.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of false positive covid-19 test results on (a) the overall number of covid-19 cases in the UK and (b) subsequent covid-19 policy decisions.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The current tests are very specific and the risk of false positives is extremely low. Independent confirmatory testing of positive samples indicates a test specificity that exceeds 99.3%, or a false positive rate of 1% and additional guidance has been provided to laboratories to reduce the rate even further.

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