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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 128156, tabled on 10 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of false positive covid-19 test results on (a) the overall number of covid-19 cases in the UK and (b) subsequent covid-19 policy decisions.

Answered on

3 February 2021

The current tests are very specific and the risk of false positives is extremely low. Independent confirmatory testing of positive samples indicates a test specificity that exceeds 99.3%, or a false positive rate of 1% and additional guidance has been provided to laboratories to reduce the rate even further.