The Guardian reports this morning that:
Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.
They add that:
Boris Johnson last week urged everyone in England to take two rapid-turnaround tests a week in the biggest expansion of the multibillion-pound testing programme to date.
The weird thing about this story is that it is a story. The absurdly high failure rate of these lateral flow tests has been known for some time. They are not even clinically licenced for use in the way the government is using them. It was, therefore, always certain that they would be of absolutely no use, but cost a lot. The only surprising thing about this story is that ministers did not, supposedly, know this.
Or, did they? Could it just be that someone, somewhere was profiting very nicely from this useless exercise that has almost no real impact on public health and that was more important than that fact that they have no evidence base for being useful for the purpose they are being used for?
I apologise for my cynicism, but not a lot. When it comes to this government the default position now has to be to ask who within it is gaining from any decision made and if any explanation for any action is sought. Corruption is to the fore. It is time to acknowledge the fact.