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Why caution is needed with lateral flow tests

(5 Posts)
growstuff Sun 17-Jan-21 23:03:53

A report issued by the UK Parliament:

While it's acknowledged that LFTs are a useful tool, they have limitations when used on an individual basis to show that a person is negative. The MHRA rejected their use in schools due to their low accuracy and number of false negatives.

When self-administered or administered by volunteers, it's estimated that they're only 58% accurate, which means that somebody who thinks they're negative could go on to infect other people.

Their validity for "infection passports" in care home settings or at border control, etc needs to be questioned.

GagaJo Sun 17-Jan-21 23:29:26

I thought PCR tests wére need for entry to the UK.

growstuff Sun 17-Jan-21 23:54:37

I'm not sure. My understanding was that the government still hadn't decided a couple of days ago. They were the tests used on lorry drivers at Dover.

They're also the tests used for healthcare workers and the ones which the government wanted to use in schools.

growstuff Sun 17-Jan-21 23:55:15

I meant LFTs were used on lorry drivers, etc.

GagaJo Mon 18-Jan-21 13:22:20

This story has info about how passengers were turned away from boarding their flights. Some of them had had the type of tests that WERE on the airlines list.

My school were recently trying to book a flight to China for one of our students. He had to have a specific type of antigen test (there is more than one type). The type of test he needs to be able to enter China is not widely available. Even a doctor in the bigger hospital in the area didn't know where it would be available.

It seems there is so much variety in testing that there is no gold standard, which is available, and is standardised between countries. Very hard for passengers.