Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 24 October 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Government's figures on covid-19 cases in the UK, whether that figure includes results from all types of covid-19 testing kits.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

The ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK’ dashboard provides a summary of key information about the pandemic. This includes levels of infections, the impact on health in the United Kingdom and on measures taken to respond. The UK Health Security Agency also publishes the National Influenza and COVID-19 Report which includes the number of episodes of infection and test positivity over time.

Case numbers include results from Pillar 1 (polymerase chain reaction) testing, which represents tests undertaken for healthcare purposes and in public health laboratories. They also include results from people who have reported a positive lateral flow test from the National Health Service on GOV.UK. Lateral flow tests that are privately purchased cannot currently be registered on GOV.UK

Changes to testing policies over time affect surveillance data. Fewer tests being performed, and tests limited to certain settings, would need to be considered when interpreting surveillance data. Nonetheless, surveillance metrics based on current testing continue to provide useful indicators of recent trends and disease acuity.

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