The rapid test kits produced by the company Innova would detect only half of the cases of COVID-19, according to a British study.
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The study published by the University of Liverpool showed that only 49% of cases of infection were detected, the Financial Times.
In particular, the researchers found that Innova’s test was not very effective at detecting cases of COVID-19 in asymptomatic people.
However, it gave a positive result almost 86% of the time in people with severe symptoms of the virus.
These rapid test kits from the American company have been used extensively in hospitals, universities and healthcare establishments in the United Kingdom.
This research then called into question the government’s decision to deploy these tests throughout the country.
“We do all these tests on asymptomatic people and there is no evidence that it changes anything,” said in an interview with the daily William Irving, professor of virology at the University of Nottingham.
Other scientists have said that these tests may still be useful in fighting the virus.
“People with a higher load are most likely more infectious, so this could be a test for the ability to infect rather than whether people have been infected,” explained the Financial Times Graham Medley, professor of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene.
The study also found that the Liverpool Health Protection Board postponed a trial use of the test last month, to allow visits to the elderly in nursing homes, the UK financial daily reported. .
These rapid screening tests can provide a result in 30 minutes, without the need to go through a lab.
The UK government has spent over £ 700 million (nearly CAN $ 1.2 billion) on the purchase of the Innova kits.