Current NHS Swab Tests have reliability issues and are detecting 60-70% of infections according to study done by CEBM. https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/comparative-accuracy-of-oropharyngeal-and-nasopharyngeal-swabs-for-diagnosis-of-covid-19/
This is one of the reasons why the death rate quoted by the Government stipulates from those that have tested positive for the virus at the NHS. But more people are dying at the NHS every day that appear to have died from COVID-19 but did not test positive in the SWAB testing. The post mortem results can confirm death by COVID-19. And one need to collect much more data before anyone can claim the confirmed deaths from COVID-19. https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-daily-deaths/
Current Test figures used in the UK media include patients that have been tested multiple times because the current SWAB tests are not reliable. https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-how-reliable-are-the-uks-coronavirus-tests
There is not enough data on Antibody testing. But the government is suggesting that test accuracy is not at the very high levels of 90+%, which the manufacturers suggested. But they don’t know yet. Some suggestions its 50%-70% but they don’t know yet. But retesting using antibody tests may also be seen as it is with people multiple testing with the current SWAB tests
MHRA has approved certain COVID-19 Antibody Tests for use by Health Professionals. Not every Antibody Tests have approval for home testing by consumers. This is due to a number of issues with the interpretation of results and reliability of adherence to testing procedures.
Testing is not mandatory and is optional at this moment.
8 April 2020 writing date.
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