UK Government denies capacity issue for Covid-19 tests

Coronavirus
Coronavirus - (Copyright PA Wire)
21:35pm, Sun 18 Oct 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

The UK Government has denied a delay in Covid-19 test results was caused by a “testing capacity issue” at a Glasgow centre.

The Scottish Government blamed Sunday’s late coronavirus report on issues at the UK Government’s Lighthouse lab.

However, the UK Government has called these allegations “categorically untrue”.

The Scottish Government said that the lab, located at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, was experiencing issues, causing more than 64,000 tests to be rerouted to facilities across the UK and Northern Ireland.

However, a UK Government spokeswoman denied there were any testing capacity issues, saying: “This claim is categorically untrue.

“There is no capacity issue at the UK Government’s Glasgow Lighthouse Lab.

“The Glasgow Lighthouse Lab is highly efficient, with the capacity to analyse tens of thousands of samples a day.

“Rerouting tests to other laboratories is a routine practice to ensure timely processing.”

We do expect to see an increase in the level of positives on Monday and Tuesday when the results are reported

The Scottish Government warned that this delay had led to an under-reporting of positive Covid-19 cases.

Just 316 positive coronavirus cases were reported on Sunday – a drop of 851 positive cases from the day before.

The Scottish Government said that Monday and Tuesday’s test results were likely to be significantly higher due to the testing issues.

Coronavirus – Wed Jun 10, 2020 - (Copyright PA Wire)

A statement from the Scottish Government said: “We were notified late last week of a testing capacity issue with the UK Government Lighthouse facility in Glasgow.

“It is important to note that the majority of these tests are still well within the 24 and 48-hour timeframe for results albeit we do expect to see an increase in the level of positives on Monday and Tuesday when the results are reported.”

The total number of fatalities still remains at 2,609, though separate figures from the National Records of Scotland which records all deaths where coronavirus is mentioned on the death certificate, suggest the true death toll is 4,301.

There are now 703 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus as of Saturday, up by 28.

Of these patients, 62 were in intensive care – the same as the previous day.

Sign up to our newsletter