Dr Hilary warns new rapid testing system to stop ‘false negative’ coronavirus threat

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Dr Hilary Jones said the new rapid testing schemes come at a time of heightened concern due to the growing number of coronavirus cases across the UK. The system will be rolled out across 66 local authorities to test their efficacies before nation-wide distribution. The Good Morning Britain contributor said: “These rapid tests will be a step forward.

“What they do is – they’re not as reliable as the PCR antigen test we’ve been relying on so far however they do tend to pick up those people who have a higher viral load that is more likely to transmit the virus.

“People who are asymptomatic but beginning to come to the point where they develop symptoms and just after that, those people have a higher viral load.

“And these tests, that take 15 minutes to get a result from, could pick most of those people up.”

Dr Hilary said the test is less likely to return a false negative and therefore will allow public health authorities to better isolate people at a higher risk of infecting others.

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He continued: “That’s a really good thing, it means we will get less false negatives than we thought.

“People thinking they can go about their daily lives without infecting others, we won’t see so much of that and we’ll pick up the most infectious people so that is a step forward.”

The latest data has shown that over 33,000 people have tested positive to COVID-19 between Wednesday and Thursday in England.

And on Thursday the UK death toll grew over 50,000 as an additional 563 Britons were reported to have died of coronavirus-related causes.

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American pharmaceutical company Pfizer earlier this week announced the vaccine created alongside partner BioNTech is 90 percent effective in warding off the coronavirus.

The Government confirmed several million doses of the jab had been bought, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordering NHS staff to stand ready for distribution.

Mr Hancock however warned the UK will be waiting for safety data to ensure Britons are protected before rolling out the vaccine.

NHS staff and social carers, alongside elderly aged 65 and over plus vulnerable people will be first in line to receive the jab.

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