Blow to Operation Moonshot when Liverpool officials abandoned the rapid test 11 hours after the trial and found that no more than HALF infected cases could be detected
- The 20-minute test should be part of the Operation Moonshot program
- The trials were scaled back due to the accuracy of the OptiGene test
- Scientists found that a high proportion of positive samples would go undetected
Operation Moonshot fell to earth in Liverpool when it was discovered that one of the rapid coronavirus tests scheduled for a mass testing program was not working.
Officials in the city have now canceled plans to start a major test of Optigene Direct RT lamp tests, which were bought because they give swab results in just 20 minutes.
Disastrously, however, the tests missed more than 50 percent of positive cases in a study in Manchester, meaning they can dangerously undermine the number of people actually infected.
Trials at Salford were scaled back after just six weeks, in part due to concerns about the accuracy of the OptiGene lamp test, according to The Guardian.
Scientists from the Greater Manchester Mass Test Expert Group reported a positive detection accuracy of just 46.7 percent, stating that "a high proportion of the samples taken from infected people in a" real world "would not be detected".
Liverpool City Council has now announced that it will not use the tests, which hopefully would be part of the city's pilot project for all-city tests starting today.
All of the city's 500,000 residents are encouraged to be dabbed for Covid-19 during the lockdown as walk-in test sites are being created across the city. It is the first time the government has opened tests to members of the public who have no symptoms of the disease.
Liverpool is now the first city in England to offer coronavirus testing to all residents, whether or not they have symptoms (Image: A testing center in Stanley Park near Anfield).
The military has been drafted to help with the mass tests and three soldiers are pictured at the Pontins Holiday Park on Ainsdale Beach in Southport
A testing center is pictured at Wavertree in Liverpool. The city's 500,000 residents can be tested with rapid swab test equipment, as well as standard PCR swab tests, which take a few days to get results
The results raise important questions about one of the key tests in the government's mass screening strategy, which Boris Johnson announced this week as the UK's main road to normalcy.
However, a health ministry spokesman said last night the apparently alarming results of the lamp test were based on a small experiment.
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