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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 110863, tabled on 3 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) sensitivity and (b) specificity of the different methods and products used in testing for covid-19 infection; and by what methodologies each of those assessments were so made.

Answered on

18 November 2020

On-going assessment of quality, sensitivity and specificity are monitored using quality control materials. Public Health England and the National Health Service have a national quality assurance network and issues with assay performance are managed through an alert system which may result in informing appropriate authorities such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

When independently introducing new tests into service, laboratories assess the performance of assays including sensitivity and specificity according to the manufacturers stated performance in the Instructions for Use. The standard methodology is available at the following link: