Errors at a covid-testing laboratory in England may have caused the death of 20 people

England's government agency responsible for dealing with public health emergencies says an error at a testing laboratory has caused tens of thousands of people who tested positive for the coronavirus to receive false test results and be told they were negative, possibly leading to death. to even 20 people.

The UK has one of the highest death tolls from the coronavirus in the world - with more than 177.000 deaths since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

Many experts said the contact tracing program fell far short of the worldwide system promised by the government.

An investigation by the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) found that between September 2 and October 12 last year, the Imensa laboratory in central England misreported around 39.000 tests as negative when they were positive.

The reason for the errors is the incorrect setting of the threshold level for reporting positive and negative results of PCR samples for Covid-19, according to the UKHSA report after the investigation was completed.

As a result, many continued with their daily lives and did not self-isolate, even though they had Covid-19.

The UKHSA said the errors could have resulted in up to 55.000 additional infections in the area where false negatives were reported.

Imensa Clinic, a private company that runs the laboratory, was founded in May 2020 and received contracts worth $203,63 million to process PCR test results.

The owners of "Imensa" did not respond to the request for comment.

"In this investigation, we carefully looked at the contract oversight arrangements of the private laboratories that were performing the emergency testing at the time," he said. Richard Gleave, UKHSA Director and Principal Investigator.

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