The secrets behind how Boris Johnson is expecting his ‘operation moonshot’ plans to hit its huge targets have begun to leak from Whitehall. Ministers are said to be eyeing up a controversial system of ‘pooled testing’ to hit the PM’s ’10 million tests per-day’ promice.
‘Pooled testing’ works by testing groups of 50 people at a time. Following being swabbed, all swabs are then placed into the same test tube and tested, TOGETHER. If the pool result comes back negative, then everyone tested is deemed negative; However, if the pool result comes back positive every person has to be tested again, individually.
While poled testing seems efficient, it is a plan which in some cases can create more work, not less. Pooled testing is a great way to test large amounts of people to see if a virus may be circulating; Although, using pooled testing when the infection rates begin to skyrocket could see most people having to be tested more than once.
Pooled testing also comes with a large risk that someone not being swabbed correctly, or a technical issue with the testing could lead to a false negative.
We have contacted the Department of Health for comment.
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