‘Panic HOARDING Lateral Flow Tests’: Britons point the finger at people ‘stashing Covid swab kits’ amid last-ditch race for tests before Xmas as pharmacies RUN OUT and home-delivery slots are unavailable
They claimed ‘panic-induced public hoarding’ was responsible for a shortage of tests across the country this week.
England on Friday had no lateral flow tests available for home delivery as punters flocked to pharmacies to get checked before heading out for end of year parties.
The government website said that there were no slots for the kits as Britons rushed to get tested ahead of the festive break.
Ministers urged people to head to their local pharmacy or collection point to grab a test before they travel for the festive break.
But staff were said to be overwhelmed by the huge numbers turning up and were facing vicious abuse from short-tempered customers.
The chief of England’s largest pharmacy said he was concerned by reports workers were facing vile treatment from visitors scrambling for a test.
Despite the lateral flow shortage, there was an abundance of PCR tests free across the country today. Sites in every region of the UK reported that they had stocks of kits available to be dished out.
Elsewhere in the Covid chaos today:
- Premier League bosses will meet Monday to discuss a festive shutdown of football as its clubs see outbreaks;
- The Omicron strain was branded the ‘biggest current threat to global public health’ by G7 ministers last night;
- Anger at the UK Government’s continuing silence over Britain’s only Omicron death was growing last night;
- Wales will close nightclubs and enforce social distancing in offices after Christmas in a bid to tackle Omicron;
- Tickets to France sold out in hours yesterday after the country confirmed British travellers would be banned.
Britons have blamed the lack of lateral flow coronavirus tests on people stashing kits away ahead of the Christmas break. 사진: A north London pharmacy earlier this week
One man tweeted out this map showing that there were no lateral flow coronavirus tests available in his part of central London
England on Friday had no lateral flow tests available for home delivery as punters flocked to pharmacies to get checked before heading out for end of year parties
The above map shows the proportion of Covid cases being triggered by Omicron across England’s regions. It is now dominant in London, 어디 60 per cent of cases are now thought to be triggered by the variant
Social media users blasted the government and ‘self Brits’ for a shortage of lateral flow tests this week, claiming some were hoarding them.
One woman wrote: ‘This is what we’re dealing with. No lateral flow tests are available because the young are hoarding them so they can still go clubbing.’
'어려운 시간이 눈앞에: ‘We’ve ran out of Lateral flow tests as well. So somebody has been hoarding them.’ '커스티 올솝이 유행할 때마다: ‘I have a cupboard full of LFT’s as have been hoarding them over the summer ready for winter variant.’
The person added online: ‘If you want one I’ll charge same as the travel tests £85 a pop.’ One more man added on Twitter: ‘Clearly no uptake on this. I’m not surprised. It was rubbish.
‘For anyone looking back through my tweets from a post pandemic world in complete an utter confusion. The answer was Lateral Flow Tests. The missing link was panic induced public hoarding.’
One more added: ‘My neighbour who works from home with his wife and has no children – He has been to a local pharmacy & brought home 10 boxes of #Covid lateral flow tests!!
'그건 70 tests or 1 a day for both of them for the next 35 일 – That behaviour is a sickness in itself.’
This shows the cumulative number of Omicron cases confirmed in the UK, broken down by nations
Gov.uk on Friday said there were no lateral flow tests available for delivery in England after shortages in previous days.
It had an apology notice and urged people to pick up a kit from their local pharmacy or collection point if they did not have Covid symptoms.
Health bosses said that those fearing they have the virus can use any tests brought back by their children from school.
A message read: '그만큼 119 service does not have access to more home delivery slots right now. You cannot order tests from NHS 111 or 999.’
But the calls for Britons to flock to pharmacies and local collection points for their kits came with a warning as NHS chiefs said staff were being abused.
The boss of England largest pharmacy said he had been told workers were left ‘powerless’ as customers rushed into stores to grab tests.
Director of NHS Services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee Alastair Buxton said some of his 11,200 stores were being ransacked for kits.
But in a sinister warning he said he was concerned people who cannot get hold of tests had been abusing employees.
그것은 말했다: ‘Although pharmacies are still receiving daily deliveries of tests, in many locations, these are very rapidly being used up.
‘We have asked for pharmacies to be able to order additional stock… but this is apparently not possible – so pharmacies have no way to order tests beyond their usual daily cap, and no plan B if their local distribution centre is out of stock.’
Mr Buxton told inews: ‘Most pharmacies are getting daily deliveries of tests, but given the soaring demand for tests, this is running out very quickly.
‘Due to a daily cap imposed by Test and Trace, pharmacies are powerless to order more tests than they already do, so we would ask for patience with pharmacy teams if they have run out – they are all trying to get more stock in as quickly as possible.’
Despite the lateral flow crisis, PCRs appeared to be back on track as kits were available across the country. Home tests for key workers and even ones for the general public were in stock on the government website.
Despite the lateral flow crisis, PCRs appeared to be back on track as kits were available across the country. Home tests for key workers and even ones for the general public were in stock on the government website
Every region in England, as well as in Scotland, 웨일즈와 북 아일랜드, reported availability. But it comes amid warnings over the poor service from supplies for the travel tests being ‘an issue of national significance’.
Former competition boss Lord Tyrie also said regulators were not doing enough to watch over new firms flooding into the market.
The ex-chief of the Competition and Markets Authority said there needs to be a dramatic clean up of providers listed on gov.uk.
He said measures should include companies paying back costs when tests are late and they should also be contactable by phone and email.
The former watchdog boss also said there should be reviews and scores listed with each businesses based on customer satisfaction.
The ex-Tory MP told the 보호자: ”The fact the taskforce was there and monitoring things itself almost certainly had a deterrent effect.
‘The CMA needs a small group of people dedicated to addressing this appalling detriment. It is threatening to become a massive rip off.’
Experts warned yesterday that lateral flow tests could be failing to detect thousands of 오미크론 Covid cases every day.
Health chiefs have insisted the rapid kits, which give results in as little as 15 의사록, aren’t any less effective at spotting the variant.
But scientists argue the sheer volume of Omicron’s spread means huge numbers of infected Britons are being wrongly told they are negative.
The free tests are a key part of No10’s Plan B strategy, with vaccinated close contacts of positive cases told to use them daily for a week instead of isolating. Unvaccinated people must show proof of having a negative result to enter football stadiums.
Officials have also urged the public to use the kits before meeting loved ones in the run-up to Christmas, in a bid to quell the spread of Omicron.
Experts told MailOnline the tests will ‘definitely miss’ positive cases and urged people not to test too often amid shortages. And top scientists warn lateral flow tests are just half as effective as PCR tests, which are processed in a lab and have a longer turnaround, and may pick up even fewer Omicron cases
WHAT HAS PREVIOUS RESEARCH SAID ABOUT COVID LATERAL FLOW TESTS’ ACCURACY?
Researchers who analysed 64 studies of the effectiveness of lateral flow kits found they failed to detect 42 per cent of cases who didn’t show signs of illness.
The gold-standard Cochrane review found the tests, which give results in as little as 30 의사록, were better at catching symptomatic cases (78 퍼센트).
The findings have caused concern among some scientists because it’s thought that at least half of Covid transmission comes from patients who seem well.
Children are even less likely to fall ill with coronavirus but can still act as spreaders of the disease.
Hundreds of thousands of lateral flow tests are being used each day on teachers and pupils in a bid to keep schools open and Covid-free. They are also deployed in care homes, 병원, and across COVID에 대한 공공 정책은 노트북 클래스를 보호하고 노동자 클래스를 노출시켰습니다..
Professor Jon Deeks, a biostatistician at Birmingham University and co-author of the report, said ministers may have rushed lateral flow tests out in schools ‘without any supporting real-world evidence’.
The review also found lateral flow tests were prone to giving false positives, when a test says someone is infected but they aren’t.
But real-world evidence shows the tests, which can be ordered online or picked up at pharmacies, are just half as good as PCRs.
With Omicron showing no sign of slowing down as it spreads across Britain and up to a million lateral flows being carried out every day, it means tens of thousands of people may be receiving false negatives, 과학자들은 말한다.
Ministers fear that the strain, which is already dominant in London, is infecting upwards of 200,000 people every day.
Simon Clarke 박사, 레딩 대학의 미생물 학자, said a negative result was ‘not proof’ that a person is not infected with the virus.
He warned even a one per cent false negative rate would thousands of people are being falsely diagnosed as virus-free, under the current swabbing levels seen across England.
Scores of Britons have complained about testing negative on lateral flows, only to be told they are positive by a PCR.
And one A&E doctor in London claimed he tested negative after using a lateral flow test that told him to only swab his nose. But when he used the same type of test to collect a throat sample, he was positive.
It comes as thousands of people have struggled to get hold of the tests this week, with the Government intermittently stopping orders from being placed. Chemists have even ran out of supplies on some days.
Officials said there are plenty of tests and have entered new agreements with Royal Mail and Amazon to dish out more tests to homes and pharmacies.
Lateral flows are only supposed to be taken by people who do not have symptoms, while those without tell-tale signs of the virus are told to take a PCR, which is then analysed by laboratory technicians.
Preliminary evidence shows lateral flow tests are as effective at detecting Omicron as they were for Delta, according to the UKHSA. The agency is set to publish data on the efficacy rates tomorrow.
Fears were raised after one of the South African experts who raised the alarm about the super-variant warned lateral flow were less sensitive to Omicron.
Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, told MPs on the Science and Technology Committee: ‘The rapid test still showing false negatives in the early period.
‘We do have patients that waited a week and still have a headache and then they do PCR and it’s positive.’
But Dr Susan Hopkins, head of the UK Health Security Agency, told ministers the test will detect positive cases among those with and without symptoms.
She told MPs: ‘They’ve been used very effectively now for almost one year in the UK population.
‘What we know is that overall it will detect about 50 per cent of cases compared to PCR, but it will detect about 80 per cent or even more than that of people who have high amounts of virus and therefore are at the highest risk of transmitting to others.’
그녀는 덧붙였다: '다시, the public health advices to take a lateral flow before you go out to socialise at the moment, we would recommend that.’
Dr Clarke told MailOnline a negative test is an indication someone is likely negative, but it’s ‘not proof’.
He said isolating close contacts of positive cases instead of daily lateral flow testing ‘is better’ but would leave too many people stuck at home.
The tests will reduce the number of infected people going out and spreading the virus, but ‘won’t eliminate them’, Dr Clarke said.
How to do a rapid lateral flow test
Rapid lateral flow tests are for people who do not have Covid symptoms, such as a high temperature, a cough or a loss or change to smell or taste.
The tests give a quick result using a device similar to a pregnancy test.
People with Covid symptoms should do a PCR test.
Before doing a rapid lateral flow test the NHS advises:
- try not to eat, 음주, smoke or vape 30 minutes before doing the test as this may affect the result
- read the instructions carefully
- clean the surface you’re putting the test on
- check nothing in the test kit is damaged or broken
- start the test within 30 minutes of opening the test kit
If your test requires a throat swab:
- open your mouth wide and rub the swab over your tonsils (or where they would have been)
- avoid the end of the swab touching your teeth, tongue and gums
- put the same swab inside your nose (약 2.5 cm up or until you feel some resistance)
If your test requires a nose swab only:
- put the swab inside your nose (약 2.5 cm up)
Completing the test:
- put the end of the swab into the tube so it’s in the liquid
- squeeze the liquid from the tube onto the test strip
- check the waiting time in the instructions that came with your test kit
- wait for the time shown in your test kit instructions
- read your result
- report your result on the Government website