More than 1,300 people were wrongly told they had coronavirus as a result of a lab error with the government’s Test and Trace service.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 1,311 people who took a test in the UK from Nov. 19-23 were incorrectly told they had gotten a positive result. It said there was a problem with a batch of test chemicals, which meant their results were invalid.
A DHSC spokesperson said: “Action is being taken quickly to notify those affected and are asked to take another test, and to continue to isolate themselves if they have symptoms. This laboratory error was an isolated incident and is under full investigation to ensure it does not happen again. “
The DHSC did not comment on whether the error affected the regional contamination rate figures.
Duncan Larcombe, whose daughter got the wrong result, told the BBC it was “more than an uncomfortable mistake”. The president of the PR firm, of Maidstone, Kent, said his 14-year-old daughter hadn’t left her bedroom for four days and that meals were out her door until the family learned that the result was invalid on Thursday.
Test and Trace is struggling, with figures earlier this week revealing that about four out of 10 contacts of those who test positive for the virus are still not being reached.