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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 24269, tabled on 29 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the performance of lateral flow devices available in the UK; and what comparative assessment he has made of the performance of those devices that are available in the UK and overseas.

Answered on

6 July 2021

Since August 2020, Public Health England has evaluated over 150 lateral flow antigen devices (LFDs) produced by United Kingdom and international manufacturers. To date, 31 of these have displayed performance characteristics desirable for mass testing, with a very high specificity and sensitivity against viral loads associated with infectiousness. Devices are also tested for robustness, usability and evidence of cross-reactivity with seasonal coronaviruses.

The Department monitors the evaluation of LFDs that are performed in other countries to shortlist LFDs for validation that meet criteria designed to identify the most likely future requirements and use cases in the United Kingdom.