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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 130051, tabled on 15 December 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of false positives of testing PCR and LFT is deemed acceptable to still be used in Government decision making and tier setting in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

28 January 2021

The current tests are very specific and the risk of false positives where the test is reacting to other viruses 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.